Standard for iris images in federal IDs coming soon: NIST ITL director

During a tense subcommittee hearing, Charles Romine, director of the NIST Information Technology Laboratory promised a standard for iris images in federal identity cards in the near future and the committee chair, Rep. John Mica insisted he provide a date.

Reported in FierceGovernmentIT, Romine spoke this week in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on government operations.

As Mica persisted during question period, a former NIST representative – Romine’s predecessor – had previously promised an iris standard in the near future three times since 2013, though no standard has been produced.

“We expect to be able to release the special publication immediately after the workshop that we’re holding in early July,” Romine said. “So, on July 9, we will hold a workshop on camera certification, iris camera certification. Our expectation is that we will be able to release the second edition, or the second version of special publication 800-76 at that time, or immediately thereafter.”

Reported previously, the FBI has also recently appeared in front of the same house committee to discuss its work with biometrics – in particular, with fingerprints.

Last month, the TSA sat in front of the same subcommittee to defend its work on the controversial Transportation Worker Identification Card, following a scathing report from the Government Accountability Office, which argues that despite a decade of work, the TSA has still not developed a reliable system to control port access with biometric identification cards.

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