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Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF)



Fernando L. Podio, J S. Dunn, L Reinert, C J. Tilton, L O'Gorman, P Collier, Mark Jerde, B Wirtz


Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF) describes a set of data elements necessary to support biometric technologies in a common way. These data can be placed in a single file used to exchange biometric information between different system components or between systems. The result promotes interoperability of biometric-based application programs and systems developed by different vendors by allowing biometric data interchange. CBEFF's initial conceptual definition was achieved through a series of three Workshops co-sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Biometric Consortium. A Technical Development Team, formed as a result of these Workshops, developed CBEFF, as described in this publication, in coordination with industrial organizations (I.e., the BioAPI Consortium, the X9.F4 Working Group, the International Biometric Industry Association, and the Interfaces Group of TeleTrusT), and end users. CBEFF provides forward compatibility accommodating for technology improvements and allows for new formats to be created. CBEFF implementations simplify integration of software and hardware provided by different vendors. Further development (e.g., a CBEFF's smart card format) is proposed under the umbrella of the recently formed Biometrics Interoperability, Performance, and Assurance Working Group co-sponsored by NIST and the Biometric Consortium.
- 6529
Report Number


biometric data elements, biometric data exchange, biometric data format, biometric technologies, biometrics, data interchange, interoperability


Podio, F. , Dunn, J. , Reinert, L. , Tilton, C. , O'Gorman, L. , Collier, P. , Jerde, M. and Wirtz, B. (2001), Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF), - 6529, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2001, Updated November 10, 2018