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GSA calls for assessment of demographic factors on biometric proofing checks

GSA calls for assessment of demographic factors on biometric proofing checks

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is planning a research study assessing the impact of demographic factors on biometric and non-biometric proofing checks.

The GSA has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve a new information collection requirement, which is published on the Federal Register website.

The study will see participants testing different remote identity proofing services and responding to survey questions tailored to aid GSA in gathering demographic information for each service.

“Using the NIST SP 800-63-3 Identity Assurance Level 2 (IAL2) standard as a framework, GSA will test how remote identity-proofing methods like facial verification technology perform across various demographic groups,” reads the text of the collection.

To this end, participants will be asked to share demographic information – including race, ethnicity, gender, age, income and educational level — to help GSA understand if and how these variables impact the performance of various remote identity-proofing solutions.

The study will also see the collection of participants’ State ID Card information, social security numbers, phone number, and face pictures.

Further, to conduct the study, GSA said it is planning to work with unnamed vendors that are compatible with the study architecture and can meet agency compliance requirements. These firms will reportedly delete all participant data from their systems within 24 hours of collection.

GSA is seeking comments from the public, particularly on whether the information-gathering proposed “will have practical utility.” Comments are sought by November 21, 2022.

IAL2 does not require biometrics, but does require identity binding through a physical or biometric comparison to an ID document.

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