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XCBF Biometrics Specification Version 1.1 Becomes an OASIS Standard

XML Common Biometric Format (XCBF) Ratified as OASIS Standard

Boston, MA, USA. September 16, 2003.

The OASIS standards consortium today announced that its members have approved the XML Common Biometric Format (XCBF) version 1.1 as an OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification. XCBF provides a standard way to describe information that verifies identity based on human characteristics such as DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, and hand geometry. XCBF can be used in applications as varied as homeland security, corporate privacy, law enforcement, and biotechnical research. It will assist in identifying citizenship, measuring attendance, controlling access to documents, facilitating non-repudiation in commerce, and many other functions.

Tyky Aichelen of IBM, chair of the OASIS XCBF Technical Committee, stated, "XCBF bridges the gap between the worlds of biometrics and Web services, making it possible to have a common, standardized, secure way to define, store, manage, and exchange biometric information with greater interoperability between systems."

"Traditional biometric standards are based on binary encoding formats, which severely limit their use in XML-enabled systems and applications," explained John Messing, American Bar Association representative to OASIS. "By providing a standard way for biometric information to be exchanged using XML, XCBF literally redefines biometrics as a practical solution for a Web-based environment."

Members of the OASIS XCBF Technical Committee include Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, MTG Management Consultants, and others.

"OASIS is pleased to provide a forum where work from other standards bodies can be advanced for the XML environment," noted Karl Best, vice president of OASIS. "XCBF builds on development from Common Biometric Exchange File Format (CBEFF), work of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), managed and maintained by the U.S. National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST). This commitment to cross-consortia collaboration is essential for interoperability among standards."

XCBF adds to the growing portfolio of OASIS Standards and specifications for security, which also includes SAML for exchanging authentication and authorization information, SPML for provisioning, XACML for access control, WS-Security, and others. OASIS currently has more than 60 active technical committees.

"Life Sciences is a strategic industry in which we place great importance," said Karla Norsworthy, director of Dynamic e-Business Technologies for IBM. "XCBF is extremely important in the development of products that can be more easily integrated and leveraged by our customers that do business in the biometric life sciences industries."


OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, global consortium that 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 produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps and interoperability within and between marketplaces. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 2,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.

For more information:

Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
Voice: +1.978.667.5115 x209

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) OASIS XML Common Biometric Format TC website; (2) XML and Security; (3) general references in "XML Common Biometric Format (XCBF)."

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