NIST Explores Biometric ID for First Responders

Biometric ID for first responders could help police and firefighters better respond to emergencies. Those authentication technologies, however, come with risks and challenges, according to a new draft report from NIST.

In “Using Mobile Device Biometrics for Authenticating First Responders,” NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence says that as more public safety organizations (PSOs) adopt smartphones and tablets, authentication requirements meant to safeguard sensitive information — such as entering a complex password — can hinder access.

“Many PSOs are looking towards mobile biometric solutions to authenticate their users efficiently,” NIST says. “Before adopting these solutions, PSOs must make informed risk decisions on their use and deployment.”

One potential challenge to biometric ID deployments for first responders involves the specialized equipment they use while rescuing people and performing other emergency duties. As the report puts it, those workers often must “wear various forms of personal protective equipment (PPE) that may reduce the effectiveness of biometric authentication methods or preclude their use entirely.”

Read more at: Secure ID News