NIST Announces Facial Recognition Testing Program

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has announced a new facial recognition testing program.

NIST Announces Facial Recognition Testing ProgramThe Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) allows developers to have their biometric systems formally tested by NIST, an organization already well respected for its rigorous testing of fingerprint recognition systems. And unlike previous NIST evaluation programs, the FRVT will be open to assess facial recognition systems on an ongoing basis, with organizations welcome to submit their offerings at any time, so long as they haven’t made a submission within the past 120 days.

The testing process will primarily revolve around images collected in civil and criminal databases, and will focus on how tested systems perform with respect to “accuracy, speed, storage and memory consumption, and resilience,” according to the NIST website. The FRVT will also test such systems on more difficult images in which faces are not captured in clear, head-on stills.

With NIST standards having become important markers of quality for fingerprint recognition with respect to their consideration by government agencies and the like, FRVT testing could soon become a critical part of the development process for various facial recognition developers. And NIST is planning further expansions of the program going forward that will see specialized testing focused on metrics like age and sex estimation, face detection, and one-to-many identification.

January 12, 2017 – by Alex Perala