ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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NIST Co-Sponsors 2002 Biometric Consortium Conference

New York, Jul 29, 2002

The need for secure methods of authenticating the identity of an individual has become a national priority. For many, biometrics-the science of validating identity based on physiological or behavioral characteristics-presents a promising solution.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce and an ANSI member, has responded to the need for highly secure identification and personal verification technologies through its research in the field of biometrics and by sponsoring a series of annual conferences on the topic. An earlier conference, which was postponed until February 2002 due to last year's terrorist attacks, recorded an attendance of over 800 people, making it the largest biometrics conference worldwide.

The next annual Biometric Consortium Conference 2002 is scheduled to take place in Arlington, VA at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City on September 23-25, 2002. The event is co-sponsored by NIST's Information Technology Laboratory and the Advanced Technology Program, along with the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense Biometrics Management Office, the General Service Administration's Federal Technology Service Center for Smart Card Solutions and the West Virginia Development Office.

The conference will cover topics related to the utilization of biometric solutions for use by the proposed Department of Homeland Security. Targeted areas include improving airport security; strengthening national borders; enhancing integrity of travel documents such as visas; and preventing ID theft. Current biometric technologies use automated processes to recognize an individual based on physiological or behavioral characteristics such as the face, fingerprints, hand geometry, handwriting, iris, retina, vein, and voice.

Internationally recognized experts in biometric technologies, system and application developers, IT business strategists, and government and commercial officers will discuss the advances in biometric research, development, testing, and application through a series of presentations, seminars and panel discussions. The event will also feature proposals from the industry on ways to accelerate biometric standards development. In addition, industry specialists will address crucial issues such as business cases, commercial and government applications, 'real-life' applications from school food services to amusement parks, enterprise-wide network security infrastructures biometrics research, testing and evaluation, biometric assurance, security and policy.

ANSI especially encourages its members and constituents to participate and share information about work that is currently underway within the voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment community. The InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an ANSI-accredited standards developer, established its Technical Committee M1 on Biometrics, in November 2001. The purpose of M1 is to ensure a high priority, focused, and comprehensive approach in the United States for the rapid development and approval of formal national and international generic biometric standards. Similarly, a newly formed ISO/IEC JTC 1 Subcommittee on Biometrics (SC 37) is also pursuing standardization of generic biometric technologies to support interoperability and data interchange between applications and systems. These generic biometric standards include: common file formats; application programming interfaces; biometric templates; template protection techniques; and related application/implementation profiles, as well as methodologies for conformity assessment. [For additional information on biometrics standards, please refer to the ANSI Online News item, "Pace Picks Up for Biometrics Standards Development."]

Commenting on the conference, Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz, ANSI president and CEO, said, "Active information exchange between private- and public-sector representatives will lead to an exchange of information that clearly demonstrates how voluntary standards can equip the government with sound technical solutions to today's critical issues without creating additional cost and operations burdens."

A registration fee of $260 covers all seminars, conference materials, exhibits, lunches (Monday & Tuesday), small reception on Monday evening & coffee breaks. For more information or to register, please contact: Teresa Vicente at (t) 301-975-3883, (f) 301-948-2067 or (e)

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