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The Biometrics Resource Center

ITL Mission and Impact

As one of the major research components of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) has the broad mission to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology through research and development in information technology, mathematics, and statistics. ITL accelerates the development and deployment of information and communication systems that are reliable, usable, interoperable, and secure; advances measurement science through innovations in mathematics, statistics, and computer science; and conducts research to develop the measurements and standards infrastructure for emerging information technologies and applications. We accomplish these goals through collaborative partnerships with our customers and stakeholders in industry, government, academia, and consortia. Based on input from these customers and stakeholders, we have focused our R&D agenda on eight broad program areas: complex systems; cyber and network security; enabling scientific discovery; identity management systems; information discovery, use and sharing; pervasive information technologies; trustworthy information systems; and virtual measurement systems. Many of our vital programs impact national security, such as improving the accuracy and interoperability of biometrics recognition systems and facilitating communications among first responders. The combination of our mission and mandates such as the Federal Information Security Management Act, the Computer Security Research and Development Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Enhanced Border Security Act, and the Help America Vote Act lead to rich programmatic diversity.

Two ITL Divisions and the ITL Identity Management Systems Program are addressing different aspects of biometric research, testing and standardization. ITL supports a major outreach effort in biometrics by co-chairing the Biometric Consortium.

ITL Computer Security Division/Systems and Emerging Technologies Security Research Group
CSD responds to government and market requirements for biometric standards by supporting the timely development of these standards and associated conformity assessment. It promotes their adoption and supports their users by leading different standards efforts and participating in their development. CSD's biometric standards effort is developing the required conformance testing architectures and testing tools to test implementations of selected biometric standards. This effort is supported in part by ITL's IdM Systems Program.

ITL Information Access Division/Image Group
IAD provides measurements and standards to advance technologies dealing with access to multimedia and other complex information. IAD's Image Group is involved in measurement, evaluation and standards for fingerprint matching and interchange, criminal justice information systems, face recognition and multi-modal biometrics. 

ITL Identity Management (IdM) Systems Program
In conjunction with other federal agencies, academia, and industry partners, the NIST Identity Management Systems Program is pursuing the development of common models and metrics for identity management, critical standards, and interoperability of electronic identities. These efforts will improve the quality, usability, and consistency of identity management systems, protect privacy, and assure that U.S. interests are represented in the international arena.

Created January 14, 2010, Updated April 21, 2017