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GCN : August 2013
[BrieFing] Updated speci cations for the govern- ment's interoperable smart ID card now include an option for using iris scans in addition to ngerprints for authentica- tion, along with on-card matching of ngerprints. The changes are included in the latest release of Biometric Speci cations for Personal Identity Veri cation, Special Publication 800-76-2, by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. They re ect changes in biometric in- terchange technology since the original publication of the document in 2005. The goal of the speci cations is high performance and interoperability in the cards, which are intended to be used across agency lines. The new document is part of ongoing standards development for interoper- able government identity credentials that are used for physical and logical access. The PIV card was mandated in Homeland Security Presidential Direc- tive 12 and contains a PIN and digital certi cate, as well as biometric data for authentication. Fingerprint data and the ability to match ngerprint on a device separate from the card still are mandatory for PIV cards issued by all agencies. But an algorithm to enable ngerprint compari- son to be done on the card itself now can be added to the card. Compact templates for prints from one or two ngers are stored on the card, along with the recognition algo- rithm. This on-card matching can be used as an alternative to entering a PIN number when using the card, as well as for an alternative for authenticating iden- tity. This gives a stronger authentication than using the PIN and protects privacy by keeping biometric data on the card itself rather than sending it to a second system. Iris recognition is primarily an alterna- tive to ngerprint authentication when ngerprints are not practical. The speci- cations call for a standardized iris im- age template of no more than 3 kilobits. It takes advantage of NIST research on biometrics to enable reliable recognition with a small compressed image. The use of international standards for ngerprint and iris recognition helps ensure interoperability across vendors of cameras and readers. The speci cations are suitable for one-to-one authentica- tion with the PIV environment, but the authors warn that use of the templates with other applications could degrade accuracy of the comparison. They would not be suitable for one-to-many match- ing --- that is, matching a PIV print or iris scan template against a biometric database for identi cation. NIST is working with the Homeland Security Department to develop a cer- ti cation program for iris cameras that can be used for enrolling and matching images. NIST research on changes to the iris over time shows no signi cant deterioration in the ability to recognize images over the course of a decade. This meets requirements that biometric data be viable for at least 12 years. A PIN number is needed to release biometric templates for off-card au- thentication with ngerprints and for iris matching, so this biometric matching constitutes multi-factor authentication. Because no PIN is required to release the compact ngerprint template for on-card ngerprint comparison, this is an alternative to use of a PIN and is not considered multifactor authentication.• Smart ID to offer options for iris scanning, on-card fingerprint matching BY WILLIAM JACKSON 6 GCN AUGUST 2013 • GCN.COM Iris recognition produces accurate recognition of individuals using images that can be compressed to achieve small sizes, transmitted over band-limited networks and stored on identity cards and cre- dentials. Digital representations of the human iris have been standard- ized as ISO/IEC 19794-6:2011, which includes specialized image formats that support storage on integrated circuit cards. PIV IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER Image Type 2 Typically produced byacamerain640X 480 format. Images are not intended to be heavily compressed but are suitable for retaining iris images in a chain of trust. Image Type 7 Cropped or masked images that can be compressed to a few kilobytes. Used if an agency chooses to store iris images on the PIV card.