In March 2021, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released Special Publication 500-334, which provides guidance on implementing the technology that allows the use of contactless fingerprints, acquired via the camera in mobile devices (e.g., an Android or iOS mobile phone), to be stored, transmitted, and matched against legacy fingerprint databases, operated by law enforcement and border protection services.

Special Publication 500-334

Together with NIST and other industry partners, Veridium, a globally renowned company in the development of user-centric authentication solutions, is proud to have played an important role in supporting this guidance, by helping NIST develop, measure and test contactless fingerprint technologies, enabling wide deployment and interoperation with existing backend services.

Charles Kolodgy, Principal at Security Mindsets, said “NIST's best practice recommendation advances the use of contactless captured friction ridge imagery for quick and verifiable identification. At the same time, stakeholders have a choice to incorporate this new model of contactless capture, while preserving the integrity and separation of the legacy friction ridge infrastructure.

Identity verification to access critical services

In many instances, fingerprints are required to verify the identity to access critical services and enter secure areas

In many instances, fingerprints are required to verify the identity to access critical services and enter secure areas, like airport terminals, or assume a trusted job, like airline pilot or healthcare provider in a hospital.

Fingerprints play a critical role because they are highly unique (even among twins). Until recently, however, only specialized equipment could be used to acquire fingerprints.

Standards developed in the 1980s are still being used to certify devices around the world, including single finger readers, glass-plate ‘slap’ readers, and conductive metal surface readers, all of which require physical contact of the finger and hands to touch, press and acquire fingerprint information.

Contactless mobile fingerprint capture

Contactless mobile fingerprint capture eliminates specialized hardware, because much of the process can be performed on a personal device. It also enhances privacy, as there is no need for collection and storage, by a chain of intermediary service providers. The device can communicate directly with the trusted identity service that purges the data after verification.

Veridium’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Dr. John Callahan, said “We are proud to participate in the NIST Contactless Fingerprint CRADA, since 2015. The new standards open many new doors, as many countries around the globe require fingerprints for access to social services, from remote and underserved areas. Contactless acquisition makes this possible, with the use of existing mobile services, without requiring specialized hardware.

Veridium’s 4 Fingers technology

With Veridium 4 Fingers, they can use their mobile phone to satisfy this requirement remotely, anytime, and anywhere

Veridium’s 4 Fingers technology is leading the way in the acquisition of high-quality contactless fingerprint capture and matching. The new standard from NIST opens up new applications for the use of high-quality contactless fingerprints (e.g. remote identity verification, remote employee and contractor onboarding, account recovery, know your customer (KYC), know your applicant, etc.), especially important in an era of digital first and self-service centric interactions.

Earlier, individuals had to physically report to a fingerprinting facility, operated by a vendor or local police department. With Veridium 4 Fingers, they can use their mobile phone to satisfy this requirement remotely, anytime, and anywhere.

Contactless biometric acquisition and matching

Veridium’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ismet Geri, said “We are proud to help advance the state of contactless biometric acquisition and matching. Veridium 4 Fingers, along with vFace, Veridium’s facial recognition platform, provides a device agnostic mechanism to use biometrics for strong passwordless authentication, in addition to identity verification.

He adds, “Looking forward, Veridium and its partners are working on creating more applications of our technology for fast matching between a live capture and NFC-enabled passport, crypto-biometric key management for crypto-currency wallets, anti-human trafficking control using in-field biometric validation, wilderness border crossing, and checkpoint validation against known watch lists.

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