What is Biometrics?
A Biometric System is a system for the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioural and biological characteristics.
Fingerprints, face geometry, iris patterns and hand geometry are examples of biological characteristics, while dynamic signature recognition (the way in which a signature is written rather than the resulting graphic) is an example of a behavioural characteristic. In reality, most biometric characteristics comprise elements of both biology and behaviour.
Speaker recognition for example, depends on biological factors such as the shape of the vocal tract as well as behavioural influences such as the region of upbringing. Conversely, biological characteristics such as fingerprints are affected by behaviour when placing a finger onto a sensor.
Biological and behavioural characteristics of an individual are those that can be detected and from which distinguishing repeatable biometric features can be extracted for the purpose of automated recognition of individuals.
Biological and behavioural characteristics are physical properties of body parts, physiological and behavioural processes created by the body and combinations of any of these. Distinguishing does not necessarily imply individualization.
Wherever there is a need to identify or verify a human being there is a potential application for biometrics. This includes entry control to buildings and secure areas including countries, as well as logical access control to resources such as bank accounts and entitlement services.
Traditional methods to secure such applications include magnetic and smart cards, tokens as well as passwords and PINs. However, when it comes to identity assurance, biometric technologies have an unsurpassed advantage: they are intrinsically linked to the person.
As the number and scale of deployments of biometric recognition systems increase, biometrics is moving from an era where vendor-specific products, techniques and solutions were acceptable, into an era where interoperability is important and conformance to standards is required by most procurers of biometric products.
View BSI’s presentation about biometric standards, and get an overview of biometrics and identity management.
View this and other BSI presentations including free guidance on standards on Slideshare.
Biometrics Standards & Publications
BSI’s publications and international standards are essential for those concerned with government contracts and procurement or with the enhancement of IT security through the identification of personnel and/or physical access control
Standards development is being undertaken in a number of groupings. Each of these groupings includes a series of standards, where some parts in the series are already completed or soon to be published, and others are still ‘work in progress’.
Interfaces: Standardization of interfaces and interactions between biometric
components and sub-systems, including security mechanisms, e.g.
Data Formats: Standardization of the content, meaning and representation of
biometric interchange formats, e.g.
Profiles: Standardization of biometric base standards to application profiles, e.g.
Testing: Standardization of biometric performance metric definitions and
calculations; approaches to test performance and requirements for reporting, e.g.
Societal: Study and standardization of technical solutions to societal aspects of
biometric implementation, e.g.
Vocabulary: Standardization of vocabulary used for biometrics, e.g.
Below is the latest Biometrics research:
Report on the design, development and testing of 11 instructional symbols for use with automated, facial recognition systems
Here are some of the latest Biometrics standards:
Code of practice for the implementation of a biometric system
Download an overview of PAS 92
BS ISO/IEC 29109-2:2010
Information technology. Conformance testing methodology for biometric data interchange formats defined in ISO/IEC 19794. Finger minutiae data
BS ISO/IEC 29109-4:2010
Information technology. Conformance testing methodology for biometric data interchange formats defined in ISO/IEC 19794. Finger image data
BS ISO/IEC 19784-1:2006 + Amendment 3:2010
Information technology. Biometric application programming interface. BioAPI specification
BS ISO/IEC 19785-2:2006 + Amendment 1:2010
Information technology. Common biometric exchange formats framework. Procedures for the operation of the biometric registration authority
BS ISO/IEC 19785-3:2007 + Amendment 1:2010
Information technology. Common biometric exchange formats framework. Patron format specifications
BS ISO/IEC 19785-4:2010
Information technology. Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework. Security block format specifications
BS ISO/IEC 19794-2:2005 + Amendment 1:2010
Information technology. Biometric data interchange formats. Finger minutiae data
BS ISO/IEC 29159-1:2010
Information technology. Biometric calibration, augmentation and fusion data. Fusion information format
PD ISO/IEC TR 29794-5:2010
Information technology. Biometric sample quality. Face image data
BS ISO/IEC 19794-4:2005
Information technology. Biometric data interchange formats. Finger image data
BS ISO/IEC 19794-6:2005
Information technology. Biometric data interchange formats. Iris image data
BS ISO/IEC 19795-2:2007
Information technology. Biometric performance testing and reporting. Testing methodologies for technology and scenario evaluation
PD ISO/IEC TR 24714-1:2008
Biometrics. Jurisdictional and societal considerations for commercial applications. General guidance
BS ISO/IEC 29141:2009
Biometrics. Tenprint Capture Using BioAPI