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Biometrics Standards ? Rising to the Challenge of Technology Innovation



Fernando L. Podio


For decades, biometric technologies were primarily used in law enforcement applications. Currently, they are increasingly being required in multiple public and private sector applications worldwide to authenticate a person?s identity, secure national borders and restrict access to secure sites including buildings and computer networks. ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 Subcommittee 37 (JTC 1 SC 37) is approaching the completion of the ?first generation? of international biometric data interchange format standards. These projects address standardization of data interchange standard formats for a number of biometric modalities including finger minutiae, finger pattern spectral and skeletal technologies, finger image data, face image data, iris image data, signature/sign time series and processed data, vascular image data and hand geometry silhouette data. Four of these standards have been approved and published as ISO/IEC standards during 2005. A number of standards are expected to be published during 2006. New trends, industry initiatives and technology innovations in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) present challenges to open systems standards development bodies. The article discusses how JTC 1 SC 37 is rising to these challenges by examining innovations in biometrics technologies and authentication systems and is addressing work to support new customers? needs. While SC 37 completes its first generation of biometric standards the Subcommittee is concurrently considering the development of new projects to complement and enhance functionality of the existing standards and to meet these new users? requirements. Examples on how SC 37 is approaching technology innovation such as 3D Face Image Data standardization, multi-biometrics and multimodal fusion are also discussed.
ISO Focus


Authentication, Biometric, Standards, Biometrics, Biometrics, Biometrics, Biometrics, Data Interchange, Interoperability, ISO, JTC1, Performance Measurements, Technology Innovation


Podio, F. (2006), Biometrics Standards ? Rising to the Challenge of Technology Innovation, ISO Focus, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created February 1, 2006, Updated January 27, 2020