According to EC policies and as stated in the The Hague Programme, a coherent approach and harmonised solutions on biometric identifiers and data are necessary in the fight against illegal immigration and to improve security for EU citizens.
Now that large scale passport and visa projects are in the procurement and/or implementation stage, it is now more than ever necessary that biometric products and systems are tested and certified to uniform standards and criteria.
It is recognised that although much work has been done in the area of independent testing of biometric systems, there are still many other issues to be resolved due to a fragmentation of efforts and a lack of input by end users. The results of various tests in the last few years has shown that test results are still not comparable and that interoperability of biometric technology has not yet been achieved. To improve this situation, this project aims to establish European capabilities for performance and interoperability testing and security evaluation of biometric systems.
Finally, BioTesting Europe will provide the capabilities for independent testing of interoperability, performance (accuracy, speed), conformance, durability (environmental influences) and human interfaces. The scope is five fold: system level, sub-system level, device level, processes and people (training & education).
In the context of the most relevant and urgent biometric applications (such as passports, visa, access control scenarios and others), the BioTesting Europe project will provide answers to the following questions:
– what needs to be tested (end user requirements)
– which components should be certified (sensors/algorithms/subsystems)
– who is going to perform the tests (existing capabilities)
– what standards are applicable (status of standardisation)
– what do we already have (inventory)
– what needs to be developed (gap analysis)
– what are the costs and who will pay/invest (business case)
The objective of the project is to create the basis for the further development of a European Network for the testing and certification of biometric technologies and systems. The network will address the issues that need to be solved in order to create testing and certification capabilities at a European level.
BioTesting Europe provides a platform where the main stakeholders can contribute. These include end users (currently mainly governments), testing laboratories and certification authorities. Industry will also provide input about their products and experiences (technical and commercial).
Within the scope of this Supporting Activity, BioTesting Europe will perform a series of studies, which will result in a clear roadmap for the further development of a testing network and a clear work plan comprised of a list of concrete actions. This roadmap will make clear where investments need to be done on the technical side, as well as in the financial side and research.
Inventory of end user requirements, existing schemes and capabilities
End user requirements will be sought through interviews with end users, industry and academic representatives. A workshop for the main stakeholders will take place. Legal aspects will be taken into consideration.
The investigation will not only target biometric testing schemes and capabilities, but will also search for existing schemes and capabilities outside the biometrics domain, which can be effective in the testing and certification of biometric systems.
The purpose is to make an up-to-date inventory of:
– what needs to be tested based on end user requirements
– most relevant existing testing schemes
– existing competencies at European independent testing laboratories in the area of biometric performance, interoperability, and security testing
– existing work on standardisation and testing (within and outside EU)
Mapping end gap analysis
Once it has been concluded on what the main end user requirements are and what existing testing schemes and capabilities are available, it will be investigated what gaps there are and what still needs to be developed or established. The gap analysis will:
– map the user requirements on existing competencies
– perform an analysis to determine what existing competencies can be used and what needs to be developed.
Business Case Objectives
The study will develop a business plan for a Pan-European network for testing and certification of biometric components and systems known as BioTesting Europe. The business case will be the basis for stakeholders to buy into BioTesting Europe, thus committing them to the execution of the business plan.
Roadmap and coordinated actions
Once the impact of the gap analysis has been incorporated into a preliminary business plan, the conclusions will lead to a coherent and integrated roadmap. While the business plan will work out a short, mid and long term vision, there will also be a focus on the immediate future in order to prevent stagnation of the further development of BioTesting Europe. The roadmap points to what direction the testing and certification schemes should develop and will include directions for further research and development. The coordinated actions will ensure that periods of inactivity will be avoided and that BioTesting Europe will maintain its proactive approach.