Wyly Wade

Iris scans gets a thumbs up from US Gov NIST; Welcome to the party 10 years late.

logo of National Institute of Standards and Te...

A new report by biometric researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) uses data from thousands of frequent travelers enrolled in an iris recognition program to determine that no consistent change occurs in the distinguishing texture of their irises for at least a decade. These findings inform identity program administrators on how often iris images need to be recaptured to maintain accuracy. For decades, researchers seeking biometric identifiers other than fingerprints believed that irises were a strong biometric because their one-of-a-kind texture meets the stability and uniqueness requirements for biometrics. However, recent research has questioned that belief. A study of 217 subjects over a three-year period found that the recognition of the subjects’ irises became increasingly difficult, consistent with an aging effect.

I would like to point out to NIST all they would have to do is look at the data collected by India‘s UID program to see the stability of iris over a longer period. The pilot projects that we did looked at the stability of various biometrics in many different groups to see which were the most stable and reliable. What we determined is that while iris is good it really needs to be fuzed with another biometric to be used in a multi-use application. Multimodal biometrics are required for a lifetime of identity management.


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