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Subject: [announce] OASIS Forms TC to Define XML Standard for Biometrics

OASIS Members Form Technical Committee to Define XML Standard for

Boston, MA, USA; 7 March 2002 -- OASIS, the interoperability consortium,
today announced that its members have formed the OASIS XML Common
Biometric Format (XCBF) Technical Committee to provide a standard XML
schema for biometrics. XCBF will describe information that verifies
identity based on human characteristics such as DNA, fingerprints, iris
scans, and hand geometry. XCBF will be used in biometric applications
that measure attendance, grant access control to documents or other
resources, and facilitate non-repudiation in commerce, particularly over
open networks.

"Biometrics, in essence 'what you are,' are destined to replace 'what
you know' items, such as PIN numbers, and to augment 'what you have'
forms of identification, such as cards," explained Phillip H. Griffin of
Griffin Consulting, chair of the OASIS XCBF Technical Committee.
"Existing biometric standards use binary encoding formats, which
severely limit their use in XML systems and applications. XCBF will
provide a standard way for biometric functions to be done using XML."

The charter of the OASIS XCBF Technical Committee is to define a set of
XML encodings for the Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF),
which describes data elements necessary to support biometric
technologies in a standard way. Universal type definitions will allow
biometric data to be validated and exchanged without ambiguity. The
exact values specified in CBEFF binary encodings will be used in XCBF
XML representations. CBEFF is a draft of the American National Standards
Institute (ANSI), managed and maintained currently by the National
Institute of Standards Technology (NIST).

"The message syntax for transferring information across the Internet
seems to be focused on XML-based dialects, and biometric information is
no different in this respect. What's critically important is that XCBF
meets the American National Standard X9.84 security requirements
regarding the authenticity and integrity of biometric data. By basing
this XML work on the schema and security mechanisms defined in X9.84, it
should be possible for XCBF to meet these requirements," said Jeff
Stapleton of KPMG LLP, chair of the X9F4 working group of the X9
Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) of ANSI.

"XCBF is another example of OASIS' commitment to cross-consortia
collaboration," noted Karl Best, OASIS director of technical operations.
"The work at OASIS builds on development from CBEFF and ANSI, bringing
our XML expertise to advance a global solution. All processing and
security requirements used by this OASIS technical committee will be
harmonized with standardization of the XML formats of messages
undertaken by ANSI X9F working groups."

Participation in the OASIS XCBF Technical Committee remains open to all
organizations and individuals interested in advancing a standard XML
schema for biometrics. OASIS will host an open mail list for public
comment on XCBF, and completed work will be freely available to the
public without licensing or other fees. Information on joining OASIS can
be found on http://www.oasis-open.org/join.

OASIS, a not-for-profit, global consortium, drives the development,
convergence and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set
the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly
designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts.
OASIS is the home for XML conformance, Web services, security, business
transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps and other
interoperability specifications development.

OASIS has more than 400 corporate and individual members in 100
countries around the world. OASIS and the United Nations jointly sponsor
ebXML, a global framework for e-business data exchange. OASIS operates
XML.org, a community clearinghouse for XML application schemas,
vocabularies and related documents. OASIS hosts The XML Cover Pages, an
online reference collection for interoperable markup language standards.

For more information:
Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
OASIS www.oasis-open.org
+1.978.667.5115 x209

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