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Biometric Registration

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has undertaken into biometric registration and verification since December 2004. (79547)

A number of pieces of biometric research have been completed or commissioned since December 2004. In spring 2005, a large United Kingdom Passport Service biometric enrolment trial reported its findings. In addition, research regarding the effectiveness of facial recognition systems for use in fraud prevention has been completed in March 2006.

Furthermore, the Home Office is funding research by the National Physical Laboratory on biometric minutiae interoperability. This research will develop methodology and tools to assess and improve the interoperability of minutiae-based fingerprint recognition systems. The work is also contributing to international standards on data formats for fingerprint minutiae, conformance testing, and interoperable performance testing. It is anticipated that this research will be completed by mid 2007.

Biometric experts working in the Home Office also receive input and review findings from research conducted by other institutions internationally and examine its implications for the development of Government initiatives. Such work is facilitated by the work of the Biometric Assurance Group, chaired by the Government Chief Scientist, Sir David King and bodies such as the Biometric Experts Group for the National Identity Scheme.