I3 patents international biometric verification without personal data exchange
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Ideal Innovations, Inc.’s (I3’s) CEO Bob Kocher a patent for a method of biometric identity verification by one country against another’s information, without any exchange of biometric data between the countries, which could particularly useful for verifying the identity of armed forces personnel.
I3 says in the patent that countries typically do not share biometrics collected from soldiers with other nations, leaving the soldiers’ uniform and ID card as primary means of verification.
The patent for an ‘International Biometric Identification System (IBIS)’ describes a system held by each country which includes technologies to convert biometric data into templates which cannot be reconstructed, at least one “national group biometric database(s)” containing “non-sensitive information,” a connection to a repository of templates, and a verification system. The latter would be made up of a biometric scanner, a biometric matching engine, and access to the stored templates.
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) or encryption certificates are used to verify the authenticity of the devices, and only a confirmation of the presence of the soldier or individual to be identified in the source country’s database is returned. The template is not exchanged between devices.
“IBIS is a significant step forward with regard to the use of biometrics internationally, in that it provides for identification verification of subjects from different countries without sharing of biometric information between those countries,” notes Kocher in a company announcement. “Privacy and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) disclosure are top-of-mind issues these days with respect to biometric use, and we specifically wanted to find a way to address that concern with IBIS.”
Kocher also says IBIS could be used to quickly and securely vet individuals from other countries with biometrics for situations like international assistance, humanitarian responses, or military operations without compromising individuals’ information.