Additional Technical Information
Introduction to Biometrics
Biometrics & Privacy
Videos and Posters
DHS Office of Biometric Identity Management
Biometrics Identity Management Agency
FBI Biometric Center of Excellence
NIST Biometrics Resource Center
Biometrics Reference Room
Department of Commerce
National Institute of Standards and Technology
. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) performs research in measurement, evaluation and standards for fingerprint matching and interchange, criminal justice information systems, face recognition and multi-modal biometrics.
Biometric Quality Workshop
Department of Defense
Biometrics Identity Management Agency
. The Biometrics Identity Management Agency leads Department of Defense activities to program, integrate, and synchronize biometric technologies and capabilities and to operate and maintain DoD’s authoritative biometric database to support the National Security Strategy.
Department of Homeland Security
. REAL ID is a nationwide effort intended to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud, and improve the reliability and accuracy of identification documents that State governments issue. On March 1, 2007, DHS released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the REAL ID act for a 60-day comment period. The NPRM does not include biometrics as a required feature on REAL ID compliant driver's licenses or identification cards, but solicits comments on the potential use of biometrics as an additional security feature for individual states or for authenticating individuals during renewals. More information can be found on the REAL ID
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
page; also see Real ID Proposed Guidelines
Questions and Answers
. The US-VISIT program is a cornerstone of the United States government’s efforts to transform our nation’s border management and immigration systems in a way that meets the needs and challenges of the 21st century. US-VISIT is part of a continuum of biometrically-enhanced security measures that begins outside U.S. borders and continues through a visitor’s arrival in and departure from the United States. US-VISIT currently applies to all visitors (with limited exemptions) entering the United States, regardless of country of origin or whether they are traveling on a visa or by air, sea or land. Most visitors experience US-VISIT’s biometric procedures – digital, inkless fingerprints and digital photograph – upon entry to the United States.
. The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) is a system-wide common credential that can be used across all transportation modes. TWIC can be used for all personnel requiring unescorted physical and/or computer access to secure areas of the national transportation system. TWIC was developed in response to threats and vulnerabilities identified in the transportation system. TWIC was developed in accordance with the legislative provisions of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA) and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA).
. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently developing the Registered Traveler Program alongside the private sector in order to strengthen aviation security and to enhance customer service. The Registered Traveler Program will be a voluntary market-driven initiative offered by the private sector with TSA oversight. Companies will enroll Registered Traveler participants using biometric (fingerprint and iris) and biographic information.
NEXUS. NEXUS is the joint United States and Canadian program for frequent business or pleasure travelers between the United States and Canada for any mode of travel: air, sea or land. NEXUS Air enrollees use automated kiosks located in the U.S. Preclearance area and Canadian Inspection Services area at Vancouver International Airport for validation. At these locations, travelers present their membership card, submit their iris for biometric verification, and make a declaration. Upon successful completion of the above, the traveler is directed to the exit.
Department of Justice
FBI Biometric Standards
. For further information on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Electronic Fingerprint Transmission Specification (EFTS) Version 8.0 and other FBI biometric-related specifications, please visit the official FBI Biometric Standards website.
. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, more commonly known as IAFIS, is a national fingerprint and criminal history system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. The IAFIS provides automated fingerprint search capabilities, latent searching capability, electronic image storage, and electronic exchange of fingerprints and responses, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
. The FBI’s Next Generation Identification System program is a multi-year effort to reduce terrorist and criminal activities by improving and expanding biometric identification and criminal history information services through research, evaluation and implementation of advanced technology within the existing IAFIS environment.
. The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has an active biometrics program and frequently collaborates with other Federal agencies to further biometric Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) efforts that address their mission to meet the challenges of crime and justice, particularly at the State and local levels.
Biometric Center of Excellence (BCOE)
– headquartered in Clarksburg, West Virginia – is the FBI's focal point for biometrics and identity management. The FBI's Science and Technology Branch created the BCOE to strengthen our ability to combat crime and terrorism with state-of-the-art biometrics technology, while ensuring compliance with privacy laws, policies, and procedures. The BCOE is a one-stop shop for biometric collaboration and expertise. Together, scientists, technicians, and biometrics experts are advancing the BCOE’s mission to "foster collaboration, improve information sharing, and advance the adoption of optimal biometric and identity management solutions within the FBI and across the law enforcement and national security communities."
Department of State
US Electronic Passport
. The U.S. Electronic Passport is the same as a regular passport with the addition of a small contactless integrated circuit (computer chip) embedded in the back cover. The chip securely stores the same data visually displayed on the photo page of the passport, and includes a digital photograph. The inclusion of the digital photograph enables biometric comparison through the use of face recognition technology at international borders. The U.S. “e-passport” also has a new look, and incorporates additional anti-fraud and security features.
Secure Network Access
. Secure network authentication is now possible through the use of smart cards and biometrics. Users simply insert their smart card into the biometric reader and place their finger on the reader surface for biometric authentication. This solution features tests for user liveness and match-on-card technology, in which all processing takes place at the card reader. With on-board processing, the time required for user authentication is substantially reduced, since user information does not need to be verified on the workstation. The greatest benefits of this technology are ease of use, the reduction of fraud generated by password sharing, and the elimination of password resets.
. The Center for Identification Technology Research (CITer) has been a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center since 2001. The main objectives of the Center are to: conduct basic, cross-cutting research of new enabling technologies and related developmental activities for the assessment and use of automated biometric systems; provide timely and effective technology transfer of new biometrics technology to the private and government sectors through its membership; promote interdisciplinary training of scientists and engineers through its biometrics research.