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ABID2 - Applying Biometrics to Identity Documents



Domenighetti G.



The present research effort results from the main research areas of the EPFL Signal Processing Institute (ITS), the School of Criminal Sciences (ESC) at the University of Lausanne and the Università della Svizzera Italiana (UNISI). The transdisciplinary cooperative research defined for this proposal results from real-world problems in the domain of national and international security and necessitates a cooperative and integrated approach when identifying demand-driven problems and working towards successful solutions. This project builds on the results of the ABID (SNSF 105211-108294) results from the collaboration of the three research groups. The outcome of this project should contribute to a threefold objective: 1) The use of RFID and the level of security of the cryptographic solution adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) raise legitimate concerns in terms of security of the data as highlighted also by the experts working in the framework of excellence FIDIS. A thorough investigation of both aspects combined with mutli-modality represents one technological part of the research. 2) Another main security threat identified is related to the use of forged/fake biometrics, hence an attack at the level of the capturing device by spoofing. We will investigate the risks associated with the production (and its conditions) of forged fingers without the cooperation of the subjects, hence taking as starting material fingermarks recovered from touched objects. Then we will investigate two countermeasures that could be added to current livescan devices relying either on the visibility and reproducibility of level 3 features (pores) or on the analysis of friction skin distortion. 3) At present, the Swiss government has not presented a full and coherent communication strategy. This is certainly due to the fact that the biometric passport in its pilot phase only incorporates, in its chip, face and personal data, nothing more than the traditional passport. However, the large-scale deployment, the publicity associated with it, combined with the foreseen addition of fingerprint biometry, make it urgent to elaborate an efficient, trustworthy communication strategy from the public authorities to ensure a objective and constructive debate regarding the introduction of the biometric identity documents. The project will develop a communication strategy based inter alia on the responses of the Swiss population to a national survey regarding biometrics and identity documents.

Additional information

Start date
End date
24 Months
Funding sources
Swiss National Science Foundation / Project Funding