EU plans to draw up biometrics standards

11 September 2012

Posted by Samuel Couratin

The European Union (EU) is reported to be looking at the possibility of harmonizing biometric standards across the 27 member states.

Under the plans from the European Commission, a new Biometrics Evaluation and Testing (BEAT) project has been established to examine the case for a single EU framework in the field.

Part of the Seventh Framework Programme, the BEAT initiative is backed by the European Commission and will see the systematic evaluation of biometric technology in order to determine how standard operational evaluations could be developed to measure the performance of solutions, reports.

It is headed up by Dr Sebastien Marcel and was set up in response to concerns that the reliability of biometric technologies is not always known.

BEAT could lead to a single European Identification Certification System for biometrics, incorporating performance metrics, as well as measures of robustness and data protection.

Biometric technology is becoming increasingly widespread, with news emerging this week that the US Government will employ it to track citizens and identify criminals.

According to reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is deploying a national database of information including iris scans, facial biometrics, voice samples and palm prints, with pilot schemes started in a number of states.

The $1 billion (£624 million) Next Generation Identification system will feature details relating to over 100 million US citizens and the FBI claims it will assist its crime-fighting efforts when the rollout is completed in 2014, PC World reports.

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