Understanding XML Common Biometric Format
As we know that the term Biometrics is associated with the verification of one’s identity on the basis of his/her physical characteristics like finger prints or eye color. Biometrics is a reliable and effective method for recognizing one’s identity because it is based on characteristics which are unique in an individual.
Now for performing these types of verification tasks we need to collect biometric data known as biometric sample generally. Also there is need of capturing, collecting and processing biometric samples in a secure way as biometric data is quite crucial and sensitive and it should be kept protected from outer environment. This is fulfilled by XCBF or XML Common Biometric Format which is a standard technique for the secure processing of biometric samples.
XCBF uses XML markup syntax for the representation of data or messages which are already cryptographically encoded. In XML based applications, this standard is very important for the transmission and storage of biometric information.
To understand the concept of XCBF we should understand the term Biometric Syntax first. This is a set of choices with four alternative options. It can have one or any number of these four choices. These choices are Biometric Objects, Integrity Objects, Privacy Objects and Privacy and Integrity objects.
Firstly we will start with the understanding of term Biometric Object. From the Biometric information we can take a record which may serve as a template or sample. This is known as Biometric Object. Biometric objects have two components. They have a header and biometric data is contained in their body. Let’s consider the following:
The first component of Biometric Objects i.e. header contains abstract things like record type, data type, version, purpose, quality and validity of data which are not specific to any hardware and software platforms and not to any programming language.
The second one, biometric data component of the biometric object consists of biometric sample in binary format.
Next thing to discuss is Integrity Objects. Integrity objects are combination of Biometric Objects and an integrity block. Biometric object serve as an input for the verification process. Integrity block have four options in which the chosen one serve as the verification mechanism.
First option is Digital Signature method using a pair of key. Next is Message Authentication Code or simply MAC. Third option is to use Authenticated data and forth alternative is the use of Signed Data. It is clear that Integrity Objects are digitally signed biometric data.
Another alternative to Biometric Syntax are Privacy Objects which are combination of Biometric header and a privacy block. The privacy block has three alternative choices: named key, fixed key and established key. So Privacy Objects are encrypted set of biometric data.
Finally we have Privacy and Integrity objects which can be defined as series of Biometric header, a privacy block and an integrity block. In these mentioned subcomponents, biometric header is optional. As clear from the above explanation these types are digitally signed as well as encrypted series of biometric data.
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