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FIDO And Biometric Technology: Industry Update March 2019

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In response to the absence of industry-wide uniformity concerning protocol for monitoring and validating the performance of biometric solutions, the FIDO (“Fast Identity Online”) Alliance has stepped in with an initiative that aims to globalize performance standards and, ideally, give consumers peace of mind regarding the accuracy and reliability of biometric technology.

FIDO Alliance is a collective of companies that create or employ user-authentication technology, with members including Amazon, MasterCard, PayPal, Visa, Samsung, and eBay. FIDO’s central focus and mission is to facilitate interoperability across platforms and devices that incorporate “strong authentication” features, like biometrics.

FIDO Alliance’s program utilizes accredited independent labs to certify that biometric subcomponents meet universally-recognized performance standards for biometric recognition performance and Presentation Attack Detection (PAD) and therefore are fit for commercial use. The Biometric Component Certification Program is open to all biometric authenticator subcomponents. Those vendors who achieve certification receive a Biometric Subcomponent Certificate to show they have passed the well-defined testing administered by the FIDO Alliance and accredited labs.

With the Biometric Component Certification Program, vendors need only test and certify products once in order to validate the system’s performance. Vendors can then re-use that third-party validation across their potential and existing customer base, which reduces both time and cost expenditures. For customers–such as regulated online service providers, OEMs, and enterprises–the program provides a baseline for biometric system reliability and therefore increases trust that their chosen user-recognition system can consistently and accurately identify users, as well as detect presentation attacks.

The tech industry has not wasted any time since FIDO announced its Biometric Component Certification Program in September of 2018. In February 2019, Qualcomm’s ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor–a key feature of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and S10+ smartphones–became the first product to be certified by the Biometric Component Certification Program. Being the first biometric component to achieve certification through FIDO’s program affords distinction and a means of market differentiation to Qualcomm’s sensor, as well as the smartphone that houses it. The sensor’s integration into Samsung’s new flagship device will aid in showcasing the biometric solution to the mobile market while highlighting the importance of FIDO’s authentication standards.


This article was published by ITBiometrics, Inc. a leading biometric hardware and software technology company that provides user-authentication services to consumers, businesses, and governments. The ITBiometrics Platform enables developers to build high-security software solutions using the trusted ITBiometrics fingerprint reader and hardware SDK. To learn more, visit www.ITBiometrics.com.

  1. https://fidoalliance.org/fido-alliance-launches-biometrics-certification-program/
  2. FIDO Alliance Wikipedia page
  3. https://findbiometrics.com/galaxy-s10s-display-fingerprint-sensor-fido-biometric-component-certification-802225/

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