Biometrics in electronic ID documents
The use of biometrics in electronic ID documents serves to verify the ID card holder. This means that biometric features make it easier to determine whether the person presenting the ID card is actually the holder of the ID document. For example, two people who look almost the same to the human eye can be distinguished with the help of a computer-assisted facial comparison.
When this method is used, for example, at a border control, first the facial image is read from the identification document, then a picture is taken directly on site. These two images are then compared with a program. Slight changes in appearance, such as a different hairstyle, have no effect on the result of this check.
However, it is important that the biometric features stored in the ID document do not fall below a minimum level of quality. Various technical guidelines issued by the BSI, ISO and ICAO therefore provide uniform specifications on how the capture of the features must proceed and how the quality must be checked (e.g., TR 03121 – Biometrics in public sector applications). In this way, biometric procedures can be used in international border traffic.