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Biometrics website from the BSI

BSI British Standards Institute - Biometrics Division : 07 May, 2009  (Technical Article)
The British Standards body invites comments on draft biometrics standards which have been published
BSI British Standards has launched a website about biometrics which contains a wealth of information about developments in biometrics, including the latest publications, a presentation to explain how the standards fit together, and regular news. The news section features the latest biometrics stories, including innovation, healthcare, banking and security.

The website provides an understanding of how biometric systems work, why biometrics are used, how biometrics are used and privacy issues.

The following draft standards are in development and can be commented on:

BS ISO/IEC 19794 series of standards cover data structures to digitally record finger, face and iris images and fingerprint features, for use in identity management systems. Some of the standards are already used for the recording of biometric data on UK ePassports and they will find further application once UK ID cards are deployed.

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 are important because technical standards support interchangeability and interoperability. Such standards reduce the risk for the procurer, system integrator and the end user, because they simplify integration and enable vendor substitution, technology enhancement and development.

Why use biometrics?

Unlike the use of other forms of authentication, such as passwords or tokens, biometric recognition provides a strong link between an individual and a claimed identity.

One area where biometrics can provide substantial help is in guarding against attempts to establish fraudulent multiple identities or prevent identity fraud. By searching through the stored references, individuals who appear to have previously enrolled using a different identity can be highlighted for further investigation. It is very difficult to perform this type of check without the use of biometrics.

UK adopts Part 2 of international standard for Airport Biometrics

BS ISO/IEC 24713-2 Information technology. Biometric profiles for interoperability and data interchange. Physical access control for employees at airports

Standards for biometric data interchange format and biometric interface are necessary to achieve full data interchange and interoperability for biometric recognition in an open systems environment.

BS ISO/IEC 24713-2 specifies the biometric profile including necessary parameters and interfaces between function modules in support of token-based biometric identification and verification of employees, at local access points and across local boundaries within an airport.

It includes the recommended practices for enrolment, watch list checking, duplicate issuance prevention, and verification of the identity of employees at airports. It also describes architectures and business processes appropriate to the support of token-based identity management in the secure environment of an airport.

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