Progressing on ISO-standards

The working groups of ISO/IEC JTC1 Subcommittee 37 (SC37) on biometrics met in June 2023 for face-to-face meetings with remote participation of several experts. A number of relevant standards was progressed. This report focuses on the activities of the Working Group on Biometric Data Interchange Formats (WG3) and its collaborations with the other working groups within SC37. Working Group 3 (Biometric Data Interchange Formats) hosted up to 76 registered experts over five days of meetings. 

One of the working areas of the WG3 is the field of biometric sample quality. The standard ISO/IEC 29794-1 Biometric sample quality – Part 1: Framework is currently being balloted as Draft International Standard (DIS). You can access it here.

This framework standard establishes the distinction between quality scores and quality components. Unified quality scores are predictive of recognition performance and are represented as integers in the range 0 to 100 (with higher being better). Quality components are measurements of certain information contained in a biometric sample. The component values do not necessarily imply “higher is better”. Quality components can contribute to computation of (unified) quality scores and facilitate actionable feedback. The concept of error-versus-discard characteristics and the provision for reporting the operational relevance of quality measures along with other evaluation methodologies are included in the revision of this standard. 

Regarding the project ISO/IEC 29794-4 Information technology — Biometric sample quality — Part 4: Finger image data, several comments were discussed to consolidate the text. The definitions of the quality components (a.k.a. NFIQ2 quality features) are now refined to align with ISO/IEC 29794-1. The standard will ensure consistency of quality component definitions with the framework. While reviewing the quality component definitions, the working group has identified suggestions for future innovations of algorithms, which will outline the roadmap towards NFIQ3, which you can see here.

After disposition of comments, WG3 decided to promote ISO/IEC 29794-4 to the next level, which is Draft International Standard (DIS). The NFIQ2.0 NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR 8382) remains published here.

ISO/IEC JTC1 SC37 WG3 made good progress on the revision project ISO/IEC 29794-5 Biometric sample quality – Part 5: Face image data. This part is developed as an international standard and will relate to quality requirements from both ISO/IEC 19794-5:2011 and ISO/IEC 39794-5:2019, which can be accessed here.

It will also be applicable to scenarios with relaxed quality requirements such as surveillance applications. Good progress was achieved on the definition of numerous quality components, which will provide accurate and specific elements in a quality vector such as information on the correctness of a pose or the sharpness of the face image (and many others).  ISO/IEC 29794-5 is now distributed as second Committee Draft (CD2). You will find the CD2 here. An intermediate virtual working group meeting will be held in late September / early October to discuss comments on CD2. 

The members of WG3 were informed about the findings of the FRVT SIDD face image quality test campaign. SIDD is an abbreviation for Specific Image Defect Detection testing. The test plan is available here. A presentation about NIST FRVT SIDD can be found here.

Many of the quality component definitions are now aligned with the code in the reference implementation Open-source Face Image Quality (OFIQ), which can be previewed here.

Of high interest is the project ISO/IEC 9868 Biometric identification systems involving passive capture subjects. This project is relevant for biometric identification systems that will be covered under the EU AI Act legislation. See more information here. Furthermore, the revision project ISO/IEC 30107-1 Biometric presentation attack detection – Part 1: Framework has been completed and will soon be available as publicly available standard here. The revision has harmonized the standard with the harmonized vocabulary ISO/IEC 2382-37 to integrate the concept of bona fide presentation

The revision project ISO/IEC 30107-3 Biometric presentation attack detection – Part 3: Testing and reporting is also completed. The standard establishes principles and methods for the performance assessment of presentation attack detection (PAD) mechanisms as well defines reporting of test results from evaluations of PAD mechanisms. The published standard is available here.

Moreover, the revision of ISO/IEC 30107-4 was under discussion. This Part 4 is a testing profile for evaluation of mobile devices. It was agreed that the profile shall serve both for general mobile device PAD testing and also FIDO specific testing, which is defined in an Annex. The document will be circulated as Draft International Standard (DIS).

The next set of working group meetings will be held again as face-to-face meeting with online participation and will take place in Japan from January 8 to 12, 2024.