Vision: Open source repository of biometrics information, code and tests

The biometrics business is rapidly maturing. This is seen especially by the fact that vendors of biometric products are no longer able to credibly claim: "a drop of our medicine makes the security bugs go away." Instead, companies need to show how their piece fits as a part of the multifaceted security solution. Specifically, this means that it sould be possible to identify which security attacks are impeded by the biometric technology, and to what extent.

One excellent trend is the is the publication of the results well run and credible biometrics test programs. For example, the Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT), and the Fingerprint Verification Competition (FVC2002, and FVC2004) provide important information about the respective technologies.

One important hinderance is the lack of easy test code that will allow biometrics users to verify implementations and test its function. The vision for is to be a repository for information, tests and code to allow sharing of this knowledge. For example, numerous academic papers are being published on all aspects of biometric algorithms. However, it is extremely hard to compare algorithms, since very few algorithms are made publically available.


The following types of code are welcome on

  • Testing and verification of biometric results

    e.g. code to calculate FAR, FRR, EER, penetration rate, etc.

  • API interfaces

    BioAPI interfaces in various languages
    A proper web interface in the BioAPI style

  • Vendor bug lists and workarounds

  • Open source implementations for biometric algs

    Eigenface (there is a good, free NIST implementation)

  • Security alerts and test code



  1. Question: Under what license is information here published?

    Answer: Each contributor may choose the license which best suits their purposes. However it must be a free licence, as defined by Licence information should be clearly marked in each contributed file, normally in the comments in the header. The recommended licence for code contributed to is the GPL.

  2. Question: Can code made available here be incorporated into a commercial product?

    Answer: In general, the answer is yes. However, it depends how the commercial product is to be licenced. Code licenced under the GPL can be incorporated into any commercial product which is also GPL. However, if the requirements of the GPL (providing source and GPL rights to customers) is too onerous, it may be possible to contact the copyright owner and pay her/him to issue the code under a different licence.

  3. Question: I would like to contribute.

    Answer: Thank you. Please contact the project administrator, and request to be added as a developer.

  4. Question: I have a question that the FAQ doesn't answer.

    Answer: Please contact the project administrator, to ask your question.

Last Updated: $Date: 2003/08/14 19:55:44 $