UK ID card will have to meet biometric standards

New international standards for biometrics that will apply to the government’s controversial ID cards project have been published by standards body BSI.

New international standards for biometrics that will apply to the government’s controversial ID cards project have been published by standards body BSI.

The four BS ISO/IEC 19794 standards cover the recording of fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition – measurements that are set to be used for ID cards if the ID legislation is passed by parliament.

But the Home Office is already sounding out potential ID card suppliers, issuing a prior information notice earlier this month in a bid to test market capacity before a full procurement exercise.

BSI said the standards were aimed at protecting individuals against ID inaccuracies as well as protecting UK commercial interests in the biometrics industry.

Compliance with the standards will help to ensure that biometric data recorded by one body can be directly compared with measurements produced by another organisation or vendor’s equipment. But BSI warned that interoperability between different vendors of biometric products and services would also require testing or other checks.

BS ISO/IEC 19794 will apply to UK passports and ID cards, if established, along with access management systems, forensic identification, ID product and service vendors and ID issuing authorities.

 

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