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New standards and assessments to improve biometrics

Improved evaluation of biometric technology and better European standards in the field will help make biometrics more efficient at enhancing security.
New standards and assessments to improve biometrics
E-passports have made biometric technology a reality, while smartphones have integrated biometrics in their safety and accessibility features. The technology however is not foolproof, and the lack of standard operational evaluations makes it hard to measure its reliability. This has created a need for a new framework to evaluate the performance, vulnerability and reliability of biometric technologies.

In this light, the EU-funded BEAT (Biometrics evaluation and testing) project devised a new framework of standard operational evaluations for biometric technologies. To achieve this, it first evaluated the performance and vulnerabilities of biometric systems, in addition to assessing privacy preservation mechanisms.

The project team then launched an open-source online platform to evaluate biometric systems against validated benchmarks. They disseminated research results by organising and participating in events, in addition to publishing scientific papers in key journals and international conferences.

Exploitation activities led to two new patents, one licence agreement and establishment of the Swiss Center for Biometrics Research and Testing to maintain the BEAT platform and to host relevant material. The material includes newly developed standardisation documents, contributing to international standardisation by proposing security evaluation standards for biometrics.

Importantly, legal aspects of developing and improving biometrics were considered in order to address privacy data protection and intellectual property, ensuring that researchers can readily benefit from the BEAT framework.

Thanks to the project’s results, the reliability of biometric systems can be measured more effectively, leading to better performance in the long run. The project’s outcomes also facilitate technology transfer from research to companies supported by the new interoperable framework. Lastly, BEAT has significantly contributed to development of a European identification certification system.

Related information


Biometrics, security, operational evaluations, BEAT, standardisation, privacy
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