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INCITS Releases Multi-part Biometrics Standard

New York  January 9, 2006

The increased demand for biometric applications in response to security concerns such as identity theft and terrorism has underscored the need for standards that cover the testing and evaluation of biometric devices. Aiding in the identification and verification of individuals based on their physiological or behavioral traits, biometric applications such as signature, fingerprint, and eye recognition systems are used in a wide range of fields, including airport security and passport control.

The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), a standards developing organization accredited by the American National Standards Institute, recently announced the approval of a three-part standard that addresses the performance testing of identification and verification devices, algorithms, and systems. Developed by the INCITS biometrics technical committee’s performance testing and reporting task group (INCITS M1.5), the INCITS 409 series of standards specifies methods and requirements for scenario-based biometric testing, providing guidance on data analysis techniques, recording of results, and performance reporting measures.

Chaired by Mr. John Neumann of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the INCITS M1.5 task group has as its mission the standardization of biometric performance metric definitions and calculations, approaches to test performance, and the requirements for reporting test results.

“INCITS continues to lead the way in developing biometrics standards, and the approval of the first three parts of the INCITS 409 standard is an important milestone,” said Mr. Neumann. “It is anticipated that this standard will eventually be required for performance testing of all biometric devices for access control . . . in airports throughout the U.S.”

The INCITS 409 series of standards, Biometric Performance Testing and Reporting, is comprised of the following parts:

For more information about INCITS biometrics technical committees, visit