ANSI/NIST-ITL Standards Update – Winter 2023

We had the privilege to attend a virtual conference that covered many topics on updates and requests to further define the ANSI/NIST-ITL standards for biometrics.

Here are some Key Takeaways from the presentations:

Contactless Fingerprint Data Interchange (presented by Shahram Orandi @ NIST):

– Support for contactless has been around since 2007, but devices weren’t ready!
SP500-334: Best Practice Recommendations
– Deprecated: IMP (impressions table) 24,25,41,42
– Serial #’s need to be captured for all components of the mobile device
– A special working group may be formed to define this standard further
– Development ongoing for test targets to be used for certification

XML in Biometric Standards and JSON’s Widespread Adoption (presented by Satish Sripada @ DHS OBIM):

– Biometric Standards: NIEMOpen (using JSON), but NIST and ISO are using XML
– Requesting JSON to be used for IXM, EBTS (messaging standards), and the above biometric standards
* IXM is NOT a standard…but it needs to be, perhaps?
– JSON is lighter weight and requires less processing time than XML files
Bottom Line: Can NIST provide a JSON representation of the ANSI/NIST-ITL standard

Proposed Updates for ANSI/NIST-ITL Data Format for Type 18 DNA:

– Update record (NIEM 5.2 reconciliation; ISO 19794-14:2022 DNA harmonization)
– Introduce “fragment sequence analysis data spec”
– Deprecate traditional ASCII/Binary version of DNA data exchange format

Updates to Type-10 Body Part Imagery (Scars, marks, tattoos (SMTs)) by Debra Tennant @ FBI CJIS:

– Updates to tables and SMT references requested
– Body location field is a dropdown list, but the Text Description field is a free-text field that is used inconsistently
– Can they introduce an image-based search?

Use Cases for Voice Biometrics by Tara Etemadi @ DHS-OBIM:

– Human Language Technology (HLT) and Voice Standards being discussed by DHS, FBI
– Working group also includes NIST and SRI International and SME’s from OSAC (Organization of Scientific Area Committees for Forensic Science)
– (47) attributes mapped to the voice standard
– Trying to map HLT Subject Areas to NIST Type-11 record and NIEM 5.1/5.2 records
– Ongoing meetings
– Trying to also harmonize with DoD EBTS and IXM voice containers

The Transition of NIEM to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Open Organization Project (NIEMOpen) by Kamran Atri @ NIEM Open:

– DoD keeping their NIEM website going


A lot of good information was presented in this ANSI/NIST-ITL Standards Update, and we are always looking to stay at the forefront of the NIST biometrics standards. Please contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more about ANSI/NIST-ITL biometrics standards.

And please feel free to learn more about how our Ani and Whorl tools can ensure compliance with these standards, thus enhancing your biometric solutions and keeping them at the forefront as well!