Topics addressed by these standards include biometric data interchange formats for a number of biometric modalities (for example, finger, face, iris, signature/sign, vascular data), biometric technical interface standards (for example, APIs), biometric performance and conformance testing methodology standards, biometric application profiles, biometric sample quality standards, and standards in support of cross jurisdictional issues related to the utilization of biometric technologies in commercial applications.

A harmonized biometric vocabulary to serve the standards community as well as other customers is also in development.


Biometric standards benefit the customers for whom these standards are developed including end-users, system developers, the IT industry as well as other standards developers working in related standards.

Biometric standards have been the foundation of cross-agency, cross-vendor interoperability and the basis of federated identity management.


Biometric-based solutions are increasingly being required in public and private sector applications worldwide to authenticate a person’s identity, secure national borders and restrict access to secure sites including buildings and computer networks. Biometrics are being used for the protection of buildings from unauthorized individuals, in employee identification, in retail, banking and financial institutions, with the management of welfare programs and in healthcare applications.

Other applications include verification of users’ identity in mobile devices, colleges (e.g., online identity verification) and amusement parks. For personal security and convenience, consumer uses are also expected to significantly increase in home automation and security systems, retail, gaming and hospitality industries and even in childcare/school applications.