Information technology — Extensible biometric data interchange formats — Part 1: Framework

This document specifies: — rules and guidelines for defining extensible biometric data interchange formats that are extensible without invalidating previous data structures; — the meaning of common data elements for use in extensible biometric data interchange formats; — common data structures for tagged binary data formats based on an extensible specification in ASN.1; — common data structures for textual data formats based on an XML schema definition; and — conformance testing concepts and methodologies for testing the syntactic conformance of biometric data blocks.

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Publication Date
19-Dec-2019
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6060 - International Standard published
Start Date
20-Dec-2019
Completion Date
20-Dec-2019
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019 - Information technology -- Extensible biometric data interchange formats
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INTERNATIONAL ISO/IEC
STANDARD 39794-1
First edition
2019-12
Information technology — Extensible
biometric data interchange formats —
Part 1:
Framework
Reference number
ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
ISO/IEC 2019
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
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Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 2

4 Abbreviated terms .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

5 Conformance ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 3

6 General biometric system ........................................................................................................................................................................... 3

6.1 Conceptual representation of general biometric system ................................................................................... 3

6.2 Conceptual components of a general biometric system...................................................................................... 4

6.2.1 Data capture subsystem ............................................................................................................................................ 4

6.2.2 Transmission subsystem........................................................................................................................................... 4

6.2.3 Signal processing subsystem ................................................................................................................................. 5

6.2.4 Data storage subsystem ............................................................................................................................................. 5

6.2.5 Comparison subsystem .............................................................................................................................................. 5

6.2.6 Decision subsystem ....................................................................................................................................................... 5

6.2.7 Administration subsystem ...................................................................................................................................... 6

6.2.8 Interface .................................................................................................................................................................................. 6

6.3 Functions of general biometric system .............................................................................................................................. 6

6.3.1 Enrolment .............................................................................................................................................................................. 6

6.3.2 Verification ............................................................................................................................................................................ 7

6.3.3 Identification ....................................................................................................................................................................... 7

7 Rules and guidelines ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.1 Capture date and time ...................................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.2 Degree of processing .......................................................................................................................................................................... 8

7.2.1 Overview ................................................................................................................................................................................. 8

7.2.2 Captured biometric sample .................................................................................................................................... 8

7.2.3 Intermediate biometric sample .......................................................................................................................... 9

7.2.4 Biometric feature set .................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.3 Relationship to CBEFF ...................................................................................................................................................................... 9

7.3.1 Overview ................................................................................................................................................................................. 9

7.3.2 BDB format owner and format identifiers ................................................................................................. 9

7.4 Types of extensible biometric data interchange formats ................................................................................10

7.5 Criteria for standardizing biometric data interchange formats ................................................................10

7.6 Extensibility ............................................................................................................................................................................................11

7.7 Naming conventions for biometric data interchange formats ....................................................................11

7.8 Treatment of multi-biometric data .....................................................................................................................................11

7.9 Capture conditions ...........................................................................................................................................................................11

7.10 Capture device requirements ..................................................................................................................................................11

7.11 Quality requirements for biometric data ......................................................................................................................12

7.12 Biometric feature extraction algorithms .......................................................................................................................12

7.13 Biometric feature comparison algorithms ...................................................................................................................12

7.14 Identifiers for resources related to the ISO/IEC 39794 series ...................................................................12

8 Abstract data elements ...............................................................................................................................................................................13

8.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................13

8.2 Version block .........................................................................................................................................................................................14

8.3 Representation block ......................................................................................................................................................................14

8.3.1 Capture device block .................................................................................................................................................14

8.3.2 Capture date/time block ........................................................................................................................................15

8.3.3 Quality blocks ..................................................................................................................................................................15

8.3.4 PAD data block ................................................................................................................................................................16

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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)

8.3.5 Extended data blocks ................................................................................................................................................22

9 Tagged binary encoding scheme .......................................................................................................................................................22

9.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................22

9.2 Naming conventions for ASN.1 modules in the ISO/IEC 39794 series ................................................23

9.2.1 ASN.1 module names ........................................................................................................................................... ......23

9.2.2 Object identifier for ASN.1 modules .............................................................................................................23

9.2.3 Type and component names ...............................................................................................................................23

9.3 Prototypes ................................................................................................................................................................................................24

9.4 Abstract syntax of common data types for the ISO/IEC 39794 series, in ASN.1 .........................24

9.5 Abstract syntax of general BDB, in ASN.1 .....................................................................................................................24

9.6 Definition extension in ASN.1 ..................................................................................................................................................25

9.6.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................25

9.6.2 Addition of components to sequence types ..........................................................................................25

9.6.3 Addition of components to choice types ..................................................................................................26

9.6.4 Extension of an enumerated type with a new value ......................................................................26

10 XML encoding scheme ..................................................................................................................................................................................28

10.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................28

10.2 Structure of XML schema definitions ...............................................................................................................................28

10.3 Naming conventions for XML schema definitions in the ISO/IEC 39794 series .........................28

10.3.1 XML namespace names ...........................................................................................................................................28

10.3.2 Type and element names .......................................................................................................................................29

10.4 Prototypes ................................................................................................................................................................................................29

10.5 XML schema definition of common data types for the ISO/IEC 39794 series ..............................30

10.6 Definition extension in XML .....................................................................................................................................................30

10.6.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................30

10.6.2 Extending XML simple types ..............................................................................................................................30

10.6.3 Extending XML sequence types .......................................................................................................................30

10.6.4 Extending XML choice types ...............................................................................................................................31

10.6.5 Extending XML enumerations ...........................................................................................................................32

Annex A (normative) Formal specifications of common data types for the ISO/IEC 39794 series ..34

Annex B (normative) Abstract syntax of general tagged binary BDB in ASN.1 ......................................................45

Annex C (normative) Conformance testing methodology ...........................................................................................................47

Annex D (informative) Examples of comparison scenarios .......................................................................................................54

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................56

iv © ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical

Commission) form the specialized system for worldwide standardization. National bodies that

are members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through

technical committees established by the respective organization to deal with particular fields of

technical activity. ISO and IEC technical committees collaborate in fields of mutual interest. Other

international organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO and IEC, also

take part in the work.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for

the different types of document should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject

of patent rights. ISO and IEC shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent

rights. Details of any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the

Introduction and/or on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents) or the IEC

list of patent declarations received (see http:// patents .iec .ch).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology,

Subcommittee SC 37, Biometrics.
A list of all parts in the ISO/IEC 39794 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.

The purchase of this ISO/IEC document carries a copyright licence for the purchaser to use ISO/IEC

copyright in the schemas in the annexes to this document for the purpose of developing, implementing,

installing and using software based on those schemas, subject to ISO/IEC licensing conditions set out in

the schemas.
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
Introduction

Biometric data interchange formats enable the interoperability of different biometric systems. The

first generation of biometric data interchange formats was published between 2005 and 2007 in the

first edition of the ISO/IEC 19794 series. From 2011 onwards, the second generation of biometric data

interchange formats was published in the second edition of the established parts and the first edition

of some new parts of the ISO/IEC 19794 series. In the second generation of biometric data interchange

formats, new useful data elements such as those related to biometric sample quality were added, the

header data structures were harmonized across all parts of the ISO/IEC 19794 series, and XML encoding

was added in addition to the binary encoding.

The second generation of the biometric data interchange formats turned out to be syntactically

incompatible with their first generation. The second generation, however, did not cancel and replace

the first generation because the first generation has been adopted widely, e.g. for biometric data stored

in machine-readable travel documents, which will be in the field for a long time. Therefore, the first

editions of the ISO/IEC 19794 series are expected to be retained in the standards catalogue as long as

needed alongside their second editions.

In anticipation of the need for additional data elements, and in order to avoid future compatibility

issues, the ISO/IEC 39794 series provides standard biometric data interchange formats capable of

being extended in a defined way. Extensible specifications in ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One)

and the Distinguished Encoding Rules of ASN.1 form the basis for encoding biometric data in binary

tag-length-value formats. XSDs (XML schema definitions) form the basis for encoding biometric data in

XML (eXtensible Markup Language).

This document defines what is common for the extensible biometric data interchange formats

considered in the specific parts of the ISO/IEC 39794 series, i.e. the common content, meaning and

representation of biometric data interchange formats.

The ISO/IEC 39794 series is one of a family of international standards being developed by ISO/IEC JTC 1/

SC 37 that supports interoperability and data interchange among biometric applications and systems.

This family of standards specifies requirements on a wide variety of biometric recognition applications,

whether such applications operate in an open systems environment or consist of a single, closed system.

Open systems are built on standards-based, publicly defined data formats, interfaces and protocols to

facilitate data interchange and interoperability with other systems, which may include components of

different design or manufacture. A closed system can also be built on publicly defined standards, and

may include components of different design or manufacture, but inherently has no requirement for data

interchange and interoperability with any other system.

The ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 37 biometric standards family includes a layered set of standards consisting

of biometric data interchange formats and biometric interfaces, as well as biometric profiles that

describe the use of these standards in specific application areas. Figure 1 shows the interrelation of

biometrics-related areas of standardization. Biometric data complying with one of the biometric data

[7]

interchange formats defined in the ISO/IEC 19794 series and the ISO/IEC 39794 series represent the

[4]

core component of biometric interoperability. The formats defined in the ISO/IEC 19785 series may

be used as a wrapper around biometric data. Since biometric data are sensitive data and subject to

attack, cryptographic protection is required in interchange environments. Biometrics-related profiles,

security evaluation and performance evaluation also play an important role. Biometric interfaces are

essential to facilitate easy integration and usage of biometric components. The harmonized biometric

vocabulary is recommended for use in describing biometric technology. The deployment of applications

using biometric verification or identification takes place within the context of societal and cross-

jurisdictional requirements.

The ISO/IEC 19794 series and the ISO/IEC 39794 series specify biometric data interchange formats for

different types of biometric characteristics. Parties that agree on a biometric data interchange format

specified in the ISO/IEC 19794 series or the ISO/IEC 39794 series should be able to decode each other’s

biometric data.
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)

The biometric interface standards include the Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework

[4]

(CBEFF) series (ISO/IEC 19785 ) and the Biometric Application Programming Interface (BioAPI) series

[3]

(ISO/IEC 19784 ). These standards support exchange of biometric data within a system or among

systems. The CBEFF series specifies the basic structure of a standardized biometric information record

(BIR) which includes one or more biometric data blocks (BDB) with added metadata, such as date and

time when it was captured, its expiry date, whether it is encrypted, etc. The BioAPI series specifies

an open system API that supports communications between software applications and underlying

biometric technology services.
[8]

The biometric profile series (ISO/IEC 24713 ) facilitates implementations of the base standards

(e.g. biometric data interchange format standards and biometric interface standards and possibly non-

biometric standards) for defined applications. These profiles define the functions of an application

(e.g. physical access control for employees at airports) and then specify use of options in the base

standards to ensure biometric interoperability.
[10]

The ISO/IEC 24779 series specifies a family of icons and symbols used in association with devices for

biometric enrolment, verification and/or identification. The symbols and icons are intended to show the

type of biometric characteristics and to advise on the appropriate preparation and behaviour required

when using a biometric system. They are also intended to assist capture subjects by guiding them as

they use the biometric system.
Figure 1 — General interrelation model of biometric issues
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
Information technology — Extensible biometric data
interchange formats —
Part 1:
Framework
1 Scope
This document specifies:

— rules and guidelines for defining extensible biometric data interchange formats that are extensible

without invalidating previous data structures;

— the meaning of common data elements for use in extensible biometric data interchange formats;

— common data structures for tagged binary data formats based on an extensible specification in ASN.1;

— common data structures for textual data formats based on an XML schema definition; and

— conformance testing concepts and methodologies for testing the syntactic conformance of biometric

data blocks.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO/IEC 2382-37, Information technology — Vocabulary — Part 37: Biometrics

ISO 8601 (all parts), Date and time — Representations for information interchange

ISO/IEC 8824-1, Information technology — Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1): Specification of basic

notation — Part 1

ISO/IEC 8825-1, Information technology — ASN.1 encoding rules: Specification of Basic Encoding Rules

(BER), Canonical Encoding Rules (CER) and Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) — Part 1

ISO/IEC 19785-2, Information technology — Common Biometric Exchange Formats Framework — Part 2:

Procedures for the operation of the biometric registration authority

ISO/IEC 29794-1, Information technology — Biometric sample quality — Part 1: Framework

ISO/IEC 30107-2, Information technology — Biometric presentation attack detection — Part 2: Data formats

IETF RFC 5141, A Uniform Resource Name (URN) Namespace for the International Organization for

Standardization (ISO)
IETF RFC 5234, Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF

W3C Recommendation, XML Schema Part 1: Structures (Second Edition), 28 October 2004, http:// www

.w3 .org/ TR/ xmlschema -1/

1) Second edition under preparation. Stage at time of publication: ISO/IEC DIS 19785-2:2018.

© ISO/IEC 2019 – All rights reserved 1
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)

W3C Recommendation, XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes (Second Edition), 28 October 2004, http:// www

.w3 .org/ TR/ xmlschema -2/
3 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this document, the terms and definitions given in ISO/IEC 2382-37 and the

following apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— IEC Electropedia available at http:// www .electropedia .org/ ;
— ISO Online Browsing Platform available at http:// www .iso .org/ obp.
3.1
biometric behavioural data

biometric data representing behavioural biometric characteristics of an individual

EXAMPLE Data resulting from writing, speaking or typing.
3.2
biometric data block
BDB
block of data conforming to a defined format

Note 1 to entry: The BDB is normally opaque to the processing of a standard biometric header (SBH) and is not

required to be self-delimiting.
Note 2 to entry: This definition is aligned with ISO/IEC 19875-1.
3.3
biometric feature data unit
smallest individual unit of extracted biometric feature data
EXAMPLE Minutiae of a fingerprint.
3.4
biometric image data

biometric data that results from the presentation of biological biometric characteristics of an individual

and is represented by pixels in a spatial coordinate system
EXAMPLE Fingerprint image data.
3.5
bit depth
number of bits used to represent a data element
3.6
octet
byte
contiguous sequence of 8 bits processed as a single unit of information
3.7
pixel
picture element

point in an image that is represented by an n-by-m matrix of points, where n is the number of horizontal

rows and m is the number of vertical columns
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ISO/IEC 39794-1:2019(E)
4 Abbreviated terms
ABNF Augmented Backus-Naur Form
API application programming interface
ASN.1 Abstract Syntax Notation One
BDB biometric data block
BIR biometric information record
CBEFF Common
...

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