OASIS Biometrics Technical Committee

The official charter for this Technical Committee is provided below. (For additional information, see the Call for Participation that was issued when this TC was formed.)

  1. Name of the TC

    OASIS Biometrics Technical Committee

  2. Statement of Purpose

    Despite existing efforts, opportunities remain for improving interoperability among biometric-related systems or system components.

    The purpose of the OASIS Biometrics Technical Committee is to define, enhance, and maintain open standards that facilitate the use of biometrics and biometric operations over a service-oriented architecture, such as web services. Improving interoperability is a key enabler for making biometrics more viable within multi-factor authentication. The Technical Committee will help bring parity to biometrics as compared to other technologies, such as cryptographic certificate use and management, where web services standards are markedly more mature.

    Because improving interoperability through open standards is a primary objective, the Technical Committee is dedicated to the concept that conformance to standards will imply a well-documented level of interoperability. Additionally, standards development in the Technical Committee should both minimize and segregate components where requiring unique knowledge hinders interoperability.

  3. Scope of Work

    The Technical Committee will provide a general, yet targeted forum for developing a suite of open standards that will foster and accelerate the use of biometrics and biometric services in a distributed environment.

  4. List of Deliverables
    • OASIS Specification for WS-Biometric Devices (WS-BD) based on contribution from NIST (estimated 12–18 months from submission) [1]
    • Maintenance of the OASIS BIAS SOAP Profile [3] and related work products as required (immediately from first meeting)
    • Other standards, guidelines, recommendations, and deliverables as initiated and approved by the Committee (dates of deliverable according to their introduction and coordination within the TC). Excluded is work currently being done in standards development venues (listed in (9)) unless in coordination with the appropriate SDO (e.g., INCITS M1 BIAS and OASIS BIAS SOAP profile projects).
  5. IPR Mode

    The Technical Committee will operate under the "RF on Limited Terms" mode of the OASIS IPR Policy.

  6. Anticipated Audience or Users

    The primary audience of the work produced by the Technical Committee will be the biometrics community, the authentication community, and the identity management community.

  7. Language

    English shall be the language used to conduct business within the Technical Committee. The Technical Committee may elect to form subcommittees to produce localized documentation of the Committee’s work in additional languages.


[1] Specification for WS-Biometric Devices (WS-BD)
NIST Special Publication 500-288, Version 1, March 2012
Summary: "WS-Biometric Devices is a protocol which focuses on the single process shared by all biometric systems: acquisition ("capturing a biometric sample with the intention of creating either a biometric reference or biometric probe"). The specification provides a framework for deploying and invoking core synchronous operations via lightweight web service protocols for the command and control of biometric sensors. The design of this specification is influenced heavily by the REST architecture; deviations and tradeoffs were made to accommodate the inherent mismatches between the REST design goals and the limitations of devices that are (typically) oriented for a single-user."
[2] NIST Biometric Web Services
Including Reference Implementation for Biometric Identity Assurance Services
[3] Biometric Identity Assurance Services (BIAS) SOAP Profile Version 1.0
OASIS Standard, 24 May 2012
Summary: This profile specifies how to use the Extensible Markup Language (XML) defined in ANSI INCITS 442-2010 -- Biometric Identity Assurance Services to invoke Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based services that implement BIAS operations. These SOAP-based services enable an application to invoke biometric identity assurance operations remotely in a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) infrastructure. This OASIS BIAS profile specifies the design concepts and architecture, data model and data dictionary, message structure and rules, and error handling necessary to invoke SOAP-based services that implement BIAS operations. Together, the BIAS standard and the BIAS profile provide an open framework for deploying and remotely invoking biometric-based identity assurance capabilities that can be readily accessed across an SOA infrastructure."