New Report Touts Biometric Fusion to Combat Security Concerns
By CP Editorial Staff - August 2007 - Security
From national identity cards to security checks for air travel, a variety of biometric applications might benefit from improved reliability and overall performance, thanks to the technologies described in a new technical report published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Biometrics use personal characteristics to identify or verify the identity of users. The performance of a biometric system can be compromised if the biometric trait being sensed or measured is noisy — for example, if a fingerprint has a scar or a voice is altered by a cold — with the resultant matching score computed not reliable. Installing multiple sensors that capture different biometric traits, known as biometric fusion or multimodal biometric systems, can address this problem.
Published by ISO and IEC, ISO/IEC TR 24722:2007, Information Technology – Biometrics – Multimodal and Other Multibiometric Fusion, offers technology solutions that might enable the fusion of multiple biometric indicators, such as face, fingerprint, and hand geometry features, to improve multiple evidences of the same identity.
For example, speech, iris, and face recognition, coupled with fingerprints and hand geometry sample,s can be stored on a passport or identity card, with identity verified by matching all samples. The potential benefits of multibiometric solutions extend to both physical access to controlled areas and access to sensitive data.
Using multiple systems from within the same biometric trait or multiple systems from within different biometric traits adds a complexity to identification systems that would be hard to reach with a single-based biometric approach. Multibiometric systems also are less subject to attacks due to artifacts or mimics by making it difficult for an intruder to spoof multiple biometric traits simultaneously.
The new ISO/IEC TR 24722:2007 contains descriptions of and analyses of current practices on multimodal and other multi-biometric fusions. It also discusses the need for, and possible routes to, standardization to support multi-biometric systems, with a view to increasing interoperability and usability. ISO/IEC TR 24722:2007 costs 120 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat.