NSTC Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management Room
In recent years, electronic identities have
proliferated rapidly, playing a key role in commerce, security, and
many other aspects of today's highly connected, mobile world. This
change has been accompanied by an increased need to ensure
high-confidence identification of specific individuals, giving rise to
the confluence of biometrics and "identity management" (IdM).
Biometrics are the most definitive, real-time IdM tools
currently available; however, use of the technology thus far has mainly
consisted of systems designed to meet narrow objectives. To fully meet
federal IdM requirements, the use of biometrics technology must be made
more robust, scalable and interoperable. Meeting these needs will
require biometrics technology enhancements, adjustments of commercial
business practices and system designs, and development of consensus on
social, legal, privacy and policy considerations. Collaboration among
the biometrics community—government, industry and academia—on these
common challenges is essential.
Numerous identity management technologies, standards and related
plans are being developed independently at the application and
sector-specific levels (such as telecommunications, border security,
financial services, identity theft, etc.). While these all positively
contribute to advancing IdM, the technology and its potential benefits
will be limited without cross-sector and cross-application coordination
and a common technological foundation. At the Federal level, needs and
uses vary significantly, and a one-size-fits-all technical IdM
architecture cannot satisfy all agency constraints and requirements.
However, there are clear commonalities that would benefit from a
coordinated Federal effort, enhance agencies’ abilities to meet mission
needs, ensure privacy protection, and enable individuals to exercise
their identities securely.
The Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management (Subcommittee) was chartered by the
Science & Technology Council (NSTC)
Committee on Technology (COT), and has been in
operation since 2003. The purpose of the Subcommittee is to advise and
assist the COT, NSTC and other coordination bodies of the Executive
Office of the President on policies, procedures and plans for federally
sponsored biometric and IdM activities. The Subcommittee will
facilitate a strong, coordinated, effort across federal agencies to
identify and address important policy issues, as well as research,
testing, standards, privacy and outreach needs.
This room consists of the following areas: