U.K. to Incorporate New Biometric Standards

The United Kingdom plans to use newly published international standards on biometric technology for its identity cards.

The BS ISO/IEC 19794 series of standards cover the science of using "biological properties" to identify individuals, such as fingerprints, iris scans and facial recognition.

Some of these standards will be used for recording biometric data on U.K. passports--and on UK ID cards if the government's proposals are approved, the BSI standards organization said.

The standards apply to access-control and identification systems--for example, information stored on smart cards--as well as the storage of biometric identification data in corporate databases.

The BSI said the standards are essential for those concerned with government contracts and procurement and will be of interest to any organization interested in identity and access management.

Public-sector use of biometrics must conform to these international standards, the U.K. government has said. Use of the standards should ensure that one company's equipment will produce a biometric data block in a format that can be compared directly with data produced by another company's equipment.

"These...standards are the first, and probably the most important, of the biometric data block standards to be produced," the BSI said.

Steve Ranger of Silicon.com reported from London.

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