The Biometrics.gov website is the central source of information on biometrics-related activities for the Federal government. This site and its sister site, Biometrics.org provide a respository of biometrics-related public information and opportunities for discussion. These websites, working together, were developed to encourage greater collaboration and sharing of information on biometric activities among government departments and agencies; commercial entities; state, regional, and international organizations; and the general public.
Department of Defense (DoD) senior leadership has recognized the important role that biometrics play in prosecuting the global war on terrorism, protecting our troops, and securing national security interests. The Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA), as per DoD Directive 8521 01E, serves to:
The NIST/ITL Biometrics website is the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory (ITL)'s overview of NIST/ITL activities including NIST activities; NIST partners; Standards; the IAD Image Group and the Computer Security Division (CSD) Group activities. This site and a related site, Biometrics Quality Homepage provide a brief overview of NIST biometrics activities with links to additional information.
In recent years, electronic identities have proliferated rapidly, playing a key role in commerce, security, and many other aspects of today's highly connected, mobile world. This change has been accompanied by an increased need to ensure high-confidence identification of specific individuals, giving rise to the confluence of biometrics and "identity management" (IdM).
Biometrics are the most definitive, real-time IdM tools currently available; however, use of the technology thus far has mainly consisted of systems designed to meet narrow objectives. To fully meet federal IdM requirements, the use of biometrics technology must be made more robust, scalable and interoperable. Meeting these needs will require biometrics technology enhancements, adjustments of commercial business practices and system designs, and development of consensus on social, legal, privacy and policy considerations. Collaboration among the biometrics community government, industry and academia - on these common challenges is essential.
Numerous identity management technologies, standards and related plans are being developed independently at the application and sector-specific levels (such as telecommunications, border security, financial services, identity theft, etc.). While these all positively contribute to advancing IdM, the technology and its potential benefits will be limited without cross-sector and cross-application coordination and a common technological foundation. At the Federal level, needs and uses vary significantly, and a one-size-fits-all technical IdM architecture cannot satisfy all agency constraints and requirements. However, there are clear commonalities that would benefit from a coordinated Federal effort, enhance agencies' abilities to meet mission needs, ensure privacy protection, and enable individuals to exercise their identities securely.
The Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management (Subcommittee) was chartered by the National Science & Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on Technology (COT), and has been in operation since 2003.
For more information about the National Science & Technology Council's Subcommittee on Biometrics and Identity Management, please consult biometrics.gov.
1 Description obtained from http://www.biometrics.gov
2 Description obtained from http://www.biometrics.dod.mil
3 Description obtained from http://www.nist.gov/itl/biometrics/index.cfm
4 Description obtained from http://www.biometrics.gov/nstc/default.aspx