How is NIST different from ISO?
What role does NIST play in biometrics and identity verification?
NIST has been measuring and evaluating the performance of biometric systems for more than 60 years, from fingerprints to faces, voice, iris, palm prints, and more. These evaluations have given them unique insight into the strengths and weaknesses of different biometrics. It has also helped them establish what criteria technologies are ready for mass use in different situations, such as facial biometrics for identity verification.
Why is NIST considered the world's leading evaluator?
What biometric technologies does NIST evaluate, and what aspects of those technologies does it focus on?
What databases does NIST use to validate biometric engines?
- Visa – Consists of photographs taken in compliance with ISO/ICAO standards for facial photography. This would correspond to photos used for passports or identity documents.
- Mugshot – Built with photographs taken less strictly according to Visa standards. They are usually photographs taken by the police while searching for convicts in prisons.
- Wild – Compiles photographs without any control and may come from news articles, newspapers, sporting events, etc.
- Border – Consists of photographs taken at border control facilities, typically airports.
What types of evaluations exist, and how often are they conducted?
- FRVT 1:1 – Evaluates facial verification systems using evaluation protocols where pairs of images labeled as “trustworthy” (same person) or “impostor” (faces of different people) comparisons are compared.
- FRVT 1:N – Evaluates facial identification systems using protocols where there is a database of known persons and searching for persons known to be in that database (positive expected result search) and for persons known not to be there (negative expected result searches).
- FRVT Quality – Evaluates algorithms for measuring the quality of a photograph taken of a face. Currently, quality is calculated as a predictor of the ability of a biometric system to give a correct response with an image. Therefore, the procedures used in this evaluation measure the correlation between the predictor of image quality and the system’s accuracy with those images.
- FRVT Morph – Evaluates the ability to detect Morphing attacks. In this attack, the impostor makes a mixture of two photographs, one of him and another of a different person, getting the police to print a passport or identity card using that mixed photo. Then the impostor uses it to impersonate the other person, for example, at borders, airports, etc.
- FRVT PAD – Evaluates presentation attacks (impersonation). The presentation attacks evaluated consist of showing physical artifacts (paper masks, photographs on screens, realistic latex masks, etc.) to pass off the artifact as a real live captured sample of the person you want to replace. They also evaluate situations of identity concealment, in which the impostor does not seek to look like anyone. Instead, the impostor tries to enroll in the system with a captured face that can not be related to his real face.
What are the requirements for submitting a system for a NIST evaluation?
Why is it essential that NIST evaluates different biometric technology providers?
What challenges will NIST address regarding the future of biometrics?
- Demographic differentials – This is commonly known as “biases,” and it is hoped that they will continue to emphasize analyzing the state of art in terms of these differentials and comparing the evolution of the systems over time concerning this issue.
- Biometrics with twins – Twins represent about 4% of the population in the USA, so there is a lot of interest in improving the performance of biometric systems in this regard. The technology is not yet ready, but NIST poses challenges of this type so that technology developers are encouraged to participate and show the actual state of their systems with twins.
- Morphing – NIST already has a concrete evaluation related to this aspect. They will probably work more on this topic, making special reports that will allow us to know how the morphing detection technology is evolving. It is true that the technology still needs to be ready for satisfactory exploitation in a product. Still, it is a significant problem that states face, especially in the passage of citizens across borders between countries.