Oberthur/id3 Fingerprint On-Card Comparison Biometrics Meets NIST Criteria

Oberthur/id3 algorithm gets thumbs up for interoperability, accuracy, and speed, while maintaining an error rate lower than the thresholds defined in the US government's PIV program

June 16, 2009

3 Min Read


PARIS, June 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- On 9 June 2009, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published the results of Phase III of the MINEX II program.

MINEX II evaluates the performances of fingerprint matching algorithms running on smart cards. The main advantage of On-Card Comparison is to enhance security and user privacy since the reference biometric data never leaves the card. It provides a very secure way of authenticating the card holder.

Oberthur Technologies/id3 On-Card comparison is one of two technologies that have successfully met NIST criteria.

The report clearly shows the capacity of the Oberthur/id3 algorithm to deliver exceptional performances in terms of interoperability, accuracy and speed, while maintaining an error rate lower than the thresholds defined in the US government's PIV program. The algorithm is the fruit of joint development by Oberthur Technologies and id3 Semiconductors, which have been working together since 1999 when the first proof of concept of On-Card Comparison was demonstrated.

Regardless of which of the 19 approved vendors were used to extract the fingerprint minutiae of 123,962 individuals, the Oberthur /id3 matcher demonstrated high accuracy with an error rate of under 0.55%. The algorithm not only exceeds PIV specifications, but is also the fastest to date with an average of 0.28 seconds per positive match. Another advantage, and not the least, is its very low consumption of processor resources (<3kB code, 1kB data), which facilitates implementation on a smart card. The On-Card algorithm was validated on Oberthur's Java platform, ID-One(TM) Cosmo.

This result opens the way to large-scale rollout of smartcard-embedded biometric verification technologies, doing away with the proprietary constraints imposed previously by the capture equipment used for enrollment or verification.

"By validating fingerprint comparison technology embedded on smart cards based exclusively on ISO/IEC 7816-11 and ISO/IEC 19794-2 standards, the NIST demonstrates the feasibility of implementing standardized solutions for rapid, interoperable matching with a high degree of accuracy, while remaining completely independent of the infrastructure used," said Christophe Goyet, Technical Marketing Director Identity for Oberthur North America."

"Recognition by the NIST of our On-Card algorithm rewards the work we have done over the last 10 years to promote adoption of this technology, which is less demanding in infrastructure and respects citizens' privacy. By successfully testing its performances, the NIST proved the maturity of On-Card comparison, thereby opening the way to numerous applications," commented Jean-Louis Revol, President of id3 Semiconductors.

The complete NIST report is available on http://fingerprint.nist.gov/minexII/.

About Oberthur Technologies

With sales of 882.7 million Euros in 2008, Oberthur Technologies is a world leader in the field of secure technologies. Innovation and high quality services ensure Oberthur Technologies' strong positioning in its main target markets:

- Card Systems: One of the world's leading providers of security and identification based on smart card technology and associated services for mobile, payment, transport, digital TV and convergence markets.

- Identity: International player for the manufacture and personalization of secure identity documents such as passport, identity card, driving license or health care card - traditional and electronic - and associated services for both governmental and corporate markets.

- Fiduciary printing: World's third largest private security printer specialized in high security for the production of banknotes, checks and other fiduciary documents in more than fifty countries.

- Cash protection: World leader in the emerging market of intelligent systems to secure cash-in-transit and ATM.

Close to its customers, Oberthur Technologies benefits from an industrial and commercial presence across all five continents.

About id3 Semiconductors

Founded in 1990, id3 Semiconductors is a company specialized in the conception and design of integrated circuits, electronic appliances and applications with emphasis on radio frequency (RF), contactless (RFID) and biometry deployment.

id3's innovations are available as hardware components or IP blocs, such as algorithms and software.

These technologies target security applications, including identity and privacy protection, permissions management, e-ID documents readout.

id3 is also a consulting company committed to offer customers all services required to find effective solutions and fulfil their objectives.

Website: http://www.oberthur.com

Website: http://www.id3.eu

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