EU sets biometric standards for Entry/Exit System

The European Union has finalized specifications for the biometrics used in its Entry/Exit System (EES), which will be introduced in 2021, with an assist from secunet provide on behalf of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), according to a guest post to Security Document World.

Standards for fingerprint and facial image quality, resolution, and use follow ICAO standards. These include the Fingerprint Image Quality (NFIQ) metric version 2.0, as defined by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the ISO/IEC 19794-5:2011 Frontal image type requirements for facial images, including those taken in near-infrared, according to the Commission Implementing Decision document.

The UK and Ireland are not bound to implement the standards.

Image quality will be assessed at the national level, with the eu-LISA providing an optional assessment tool, and fingerprints will also be assessed centrally. The NFIQ algorithm version 2.0 has been available since 2017, and was optimized and adapted to meet the latest requirements for biometric applications by a collaborative effort involving secunet, NIST, and additional partners. The method for assessing fingerprints was improved, and secunet contributed a modular software framework to train the NFIQ 2.0 algorithm with machine learning.

The standards set maximum false non-matching rate (FNMR) for biometric verification of below 0.5 percent for fingerprints and below 1 percent for facial biometrics at a false match rate (FMR) set to 0.05 percent, or 5 out of 10,000. For biometric identification, the standard for false negative identification rate (FNIR) is 1.5 percent for fingerprints and 1 percent for multi-modal identification with fingerprints and facial images, with a false positive identification rate (FPIR) set to 0.1 percent. Biometric performance will be measured on at least a monthly basis centrally by eu-LISA.

The proposal for the EU’s EES was revised in 2016 to include the collection of four fingerprints and a facial image as biometric identifiers, instead of ten fingerprints, as originally proposed in 2013. SITA compared the new system with other border control systems in a blog post late last year.

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