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GSA testing for biometric bias ahead of Login.gov identity proofing rollout

GSA testing for biometric bias ahead of Login.gov identity proofing rollout

The U.S. General Services Administration is testing facial recognition, behavioral biometrics and other technologies for remote identity proofing for the Login.gov onboarding process to ensure they are free from bias. The equity test is part of a pilot which began in May with the ultimate goal of meeting the IAL2 identity proofing standard set out in NIST SP 800-63.

The GSA is conducting a study on the equity impacts of remote identity proofing, and plans to engage with internal personnel who have expertise in technology equity, FedScoop reports.

The test includes selfie biometrics and other identity proofing technologies from TransUnion and AuthenticID, Socure, Jumio, LexisNexis, Incode and red violet. The GSA also recently opened up its biometric vendor options with eight blanket purchase agreements that bring in Experian, Idemia I&S, Carahsoft, Aderas, Celerity and Diamond Capture Associates.

“Login.gov is committed to leveraging best-in-class facial matching algorithms that, based on testing in controlled environments, have been shown to offer high-levels of accuracy in reduced algorithmic bias,” a GSA spokesperson told the publication.

The study is planned for publication in a peer-reviewed journal during the fiscal 2025 year. Technologies from the five different vendors have been tested by 4,000 people, as of April.

“GSA will test remote identity-proofing tools that include both biometric checks using facial verification technology as well as non-biometric methods like phone-account ownership and consumer history,” the agency website says.

The privacy impact assessment for the study reveals that GSA is using TransUnion’s TruValidate Document Verification, along with AuthenticID’s DaVinci Connector, Socure’s ID+, Jumio ID and Identity Verification, Incode Omni and red violet’s IDICore and coreIdentity platforms. LexisNexis is providing its ThreatMetrix Behavioral Biometrics, TrueID document authentication and other software from its Risk Solutions portfolio.

The pilot runs through the fall, and will involve identifying points in the process that cause difficulty for users, so they can be improved iteratively.

Whatever vendor is selected for face biometrics matching will have to be among the leaders in NIST’s biometric 1:1 FRTE benchmark.

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