Biometric standards unveiled

Posted on August 30th, 2005

New international standards on biometric technology have been published.

The BS ISO/IEC 19794 series of standards cover the science of using ‘biological properties’ to identify individuals, such as fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition.
Some of these standards will be used for the recording of biometric data on passports – and on ID cards if the government’s proposals are approved, the BSI said.
The standards applies to access control and identification systems, for example, information stored on smart cards, as well as the storage of biometric identification data in corporate databases.
The BSI said the standards are essential for those concerned with government contracts and procurement, and will be of interest to any organisation implementing strong identity management and access management.
Use of biometrics by the public sector must conform to these international biometrics standards, the government has specified.
Use of the standards should ensure that one vendor’s equipment will produce a biometric data block in a format that can be compared directly with data produced by another vendor’s equipment.
‘These four standards are the first, and probably the most important, of the biometric data block standards to be produced,’ the BSI said in a statement.

By Steve Ranger (