The standard for testing biometric system bias advances to committee draft stage

The standard’s development can inform revisions to other biometric standards and help ensure equitable access to biometric-based identity assurance.

 Spiral, Coil

Biometric systems, which rely on unique physical or behavioural characteristics to identify individuals, have become increasingly common in various sectors, including finance, healthcare, and law enforcement. However, these systems have faced criticism for potential demographic disparities or biases that may disproportionately affect certain groups. To address this issue, an international standard for testing demographic differentials in biometric systems, ISO/IEC 19795-10, has been in development for three years and is now at the committee draft stage. Reported by Maryland Test Facility Principal Data Scientist John Howard on LinkedIn.

The ISO/IEC 19795-10 standard’s development has the potential to inform revisions to other biometric standards, such as NIST’s 800-63, and to help ensure equitable access to biometric-based identity assurance. As the standardization process continues, researchers are emphasizing the importance of considering factors such as data capture, matching, and database systems when testing for biometric bias.

The standard seeks to ensure that biometric systems are fair and equitable for all users, regardless of demographic factors such as race or gender. Comments from national standards bodies are currently being sought, and the advancement of this standard could have important implications for ongoing efforts to improve the accuracy and equity of biometric systems.