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Oberthur says on-card comparison biometrics meets NIST criteria

16 June 2009  |  1871 views  |  0 Source: Oberthur Technologies

On 9 June 2009, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published the results of Phase III of the MINEX II program.

MINEX II evaluates the performances of fingerprint matching algorithms running on smart cards. The main advantage of On-Card Comparison is to enhance security and user privacy since the reference biometric data never leaves the card. It provides a very secure way of authenticating the card holder.

Oberthur Technologies/id3 On-Card comparison is one of two technologies that have successfully met NIST criteria.

The report clearly shows the capacity of the Oberthur/id3 algorithm to deliver exceptional performances in terms of interoperability, accuracy and speed, while maintaining an error rate lower than the thresholds defined in the US government's PIV program. The algorithm is the fruit of joint development by Oberthur Technologies and id3 Semiconductors, which have been working together since 1999 when the first proof of concept of On-Card Comparison was demonstrated.

Regardless of which of the 19 approved vendors were used to extract the fingerprint minutiae of 123,962 individuals, the Oberthur /id3 matcher demonstrated high accuracy with an error rate of under 0.55%. The algorithm not only exceeds PIV specifications, but is also the fastest to date with an average of 0.28 seconds per positive match. Another advantage, and not the least, is its very low consumption of processor resources (<3kB code, 1kB data), which facilitates implementation on a smart card. The On-Card algorithm was validated on Oberthur's Java platform, ID-One(TM) Cosmo.

This result opens the way to large-scale rollout of smartcard-embedded biometric verification technologies, doing away with the proprietary constraints imposed previously by the capture equipment used for enrollment or verification.

"By validating fingerprint comparison technology embedded on smart cards based exclusively on ISO/IEC 7816-11 and ISO/IEC 19794-2 standards, the NIST demonstrates the feasibility of implementing standardized solutions for rapid, interoperable matching wiwith a high degree of accuracy, while remaining completely independent of the infrastructure used," said Christophe Goyet, Technical Marketing Director Identity for Oberthur North America."

"Recognition by the NIST of our On-Card algorithm rewards the work we have done over the last 10 years to promote adoption of this technology, which is less demanding in infrastructure and respects citizens' privacy. By successfully testing its performances, the NIST proved the maturity of On-Card comparison, thereby opening the way to numerous applications," commented Jean-Louis Revol, President of id3 Semiconductors.

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