Firms get $9 million for cryptography work

European biometrics companies have received $9 million in U.S. money from the European Union to develop advanced cryptography for interoperable fingerprint biometric solutions over three years, the companies have announced.

The Trusted Revocable Biometric Identities (Turbine) research project team led by Sagem Sécurité of France is applying cryptographic methods to ensure that data generated from the fingerprints for authentication purposes cannot be used to reconstruct the original fingerprint.

In addition, users will be able to create, use, and revoke as necessary several “pseudo identities” from the same fingerprints that can be used for various applications.

Users will be able to manage their identities on their personal smart card for both government and private use. The goal is to develop an infrastructure for using biometrics for government, banking, health and airport security applications, Sagem Orga officials said in a news release.

With Sagem Sécurité serving as project coordinator, other companies and institutions involved are: Sagem Orga (Germany), Philips Research (The Netherlands), the University of Twente, (The Netherlands), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Gjøvik University College (Norway), Precise Biometrics (Sweden), Cryptolog (France), 3D-GAA S.A. (Greece) and ARTTIC (France).

The funding was awarded earlier this year by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development.

In the U.S., security requirements for federal employee smart cards were developed under Federal Information Processing Standard 201. The National Institute of Standards and Technology conducted testing to validate the interoperability of fingerprint biometric templates.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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