FIDO Biometric Component Certification Policy

Final Document,

This version:
Issue Tracking:
(FIDO Alliance)
Former Editor:
(FIDO Alliance)


This document outlines the Policies and Procedures for the FIDO Biometric Component Certification Program.

1. Revision History

Revision History
Date Pull Request Version Description
0.1 Initial Draft
2017-10-17 #83 0.2 Added Process sections
2017-12-12 0.3 Added Biometric Subsystem Boundary, Allowed Integration Document, Post-Certification changes sections. Removed TMLA section.
2019-02-11 1.0 Added the pre-qualification step
2019-03-08 1.1 Improved wording by constantly using the term Component
2019-04-02 1.2 Minor correction of testing phase, fixed references
2020-05-06 1.3 Added section for snsetting program documents
2021-12-06 1.4 Updated Cretification Request and Issuance to include IAPAR threshold and level and Test Environment; add IAPAR to metadata

2. Introduction

This document gives an overview of the policies that govern Biometrics Component Certification as part of the FIDO Biometrics Component Certification Program.

These policies are the requirements and operational rules that guide the implementation, process, and ongoing operation of the Biometrics Certification program and create an overall framework for the Biometrics Component Certification Program to operate within.

2.1. Audience

The intended audience of this document is the Certification Working Group (CWG), Biometric Assurance Subgroup, FIDO Administration, and the FIDO Board of Directors.

The owner of this document is the Certification Working Group.

2.2. FIDO Roles

Certification Working Group (CWG)

FIDO working group responsible for the approval of policy documents and ongoing maintenance of policy documents once a certification program is launched.

Biometrics Assurance Subgroup

FIDO subgroup of the CWG responsible for defining the Biometric Requirements and Test Procedures to develop the Biometrics Component Certification program and to act as an SME following the launch of the program.


Party seeking certification. Responsible for providing the testing harness to perform both online and offline testing that includes enrollment system (with data capture sensor) and verification software.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

Company whose goods are used as components in the products of another company, which then sells the finished items to users.


Party performing testing. Testing will be performed by third-party test laboratories Accredited by FIDO to perform Biometric Component Certification Testing. See also, FIDO Accredited Biometrics Laboratory.

2.3. FIDO Terms

FIDO Certified Authenticator

An Authenticator that has successfully completed FIDO Certification program and has been issued a FIDO Certificate.

FIDO Accredited Biometrics Laboratory

Laboratory that has been Accredited by the FIDO Alliance to perform FIDO Biometrics Testing for the Biometrics Component Certification Program.

FIDO Member

A company or organization that has joined the FIDO Alliance through the Membership process.

Certified Biometric Component

A Biometric Subcomponent that has completed the FIDO Biometric Component Certification program and has been issued a Biometric Component Certificate.

2.4. Personnel Terms

Test Subject

User whose biometric data is intended to be enrolled or compared as part of the evaluation. See Section 4.3.2 in [ISOIEC-19795-1].

Note: For the purposes of this document, multiple fingers up to four fingers from one individual may be considered as different test subjects. Two eyes from one individual may be considered as different test subjects.

Test Crew

Set of test subjects gathered for an evaluation. See Section 4.3.3 in [ISOIEC-19795-1].

Target Population

Set of users of the application for which performance is being evaluated. See Section 4.3.4 in [ISOIEC-19795-1].

Test Operator

Individual with function in the actual system. See Section 4.3.6 in [ISOIEC-19795-1].

2.5. Key Words

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

3. Overall Biometrics Component Certification Policies

The Biometrics Component Certification program as a whole is the responsibility of the FIDO Certification Working Group (CWG), specifically the Biometrics Assurance Subgroup, with necessary oversights and approvals from the FIDO Board of Directors and collaboration with other FIDO Working Groups where needed.

The CWG may, at the discretion of its chair and members, create subcommittees and delegate responsibilities for all or some portion of the CWG’s certification program responsibilities to those subcommittees. The Certification Secretariat is responsible for implementing, operating, and managing the certification program defined by the CWG.

Implementations seeking Biometrics Certification may be FIDO Members or non-member organizations.

3.1. Prerequisite Certifications

FIDO Biometric Component Certification is independent of other FIDO Certification Programs. There are no FIDO Certification prerequisites to apply for Biometric Component Certification for a Component.

3.2. FIDO Authenticator Certification with a Certified Biometric Component

Once a Biometric Component is Certified (Certified Biometric Component), there are rules for how it can be integrated into an Authenticator seeking FIDO Authenticator Certification.

A Certified Biometric Component MUST be integrated according to the Allowed Integration Document defined by the Biometric Vendor during the Biometric Component Certification process.

The Authenticator implementation MUST complete FIDO Certified at Level 1 or higher. An Authenticator with only a Functional Certificate SHALL complete Authenticator Certification for Level 1 or higher to use a Certified Biometric.

Use of a Certified Biometric is OPTIONAL for Level 1 and Level 2. At Level 3 and higher an Authenticator MAY use a Certified Biometric Component, if a Biometric modality is used for authentication it MUST use a Certified Biometric Component.

3.2.1. Biometric Component Boundary

The boundary of the Biometric Component to be certified (also called TOE, or Target of Evaluation) is defined by the Vendor. All functionality required for biometrics must be included within the boundary, this includes the Data Capture, Signal Processing, Data Storage, Comparison, and Decision functionality.

3.3. Biometric Component Certification Process

  1. Application

  2. Qualification

  3. Biometric Testing

  4. Laboratory Report

  5. Certification Request

  6. Certification Issuance

3.3.1. Application

Vendor applies for FIDO Biometric Component Certification. Vendor enters a contract with a FIDO Accredited Biometric Laboratory.

Biometric Secretariat review the Application, notifies the Vendor that it is Approved, Rejected, or requires clarification.

3.3.2. Qualification

After the developer officially applied for certification, they shall provide the following to the laboratory:

The laboratory will review the TOE, the test harness and the provided documents and ensure that they are complete. The laboratory shall specifically ensure and perform

Laboratory, developer and FIDO then work to reach agreement on

The FIDO qualification stage for biometric certification does not confirm self-attested biometric performance numbers that may be provided by the vendor, e.g., false accept rate (FAR), false reject rate (FRR), or presentation attack detection performance (PAD).

The agreement is summarized by the laboratory in written form. This can be part of the test plan for the rest of the certification or in form of a separate document.

After this agreement has been reached, the developer is considered to have reached the qualification of the certification.

3.3.3. Biometric Testing

The FIDO Accredited Biometric Laboratory will be responsible for testing against the requirements through a combination of online and offline live subject testing. Testing will be completed according to the FIDO Biometrics Requirements ([FIDOBiometricsRequirements]).

There are two levels of certification that have different thresholds for IAPAR metric for PAD assessment. Otherwise, the testing procedure is the same for both levels. The levels are defined as:

Labs seeking FIDO Accreditation shall follow the FIDO Biometric Laboratory Accreditation Policy [FIDOBiometricsLaboratoryAccreditationPolicy]. A list of FIDO Accredited Biometric Laboratories will be available on the FIDO Website ( Prior to testing, the FIDO Accredited Biometric Laboratory shall prepare a test plan and submit this test plan to FIDO for approval. Allowed Integration Document

An Allowed Integration Document is used to document the changes that may be necessary to accommodate integration into an Authenticator. The Allowed Integration Document must be drafted by the Vendor and provided to the Accredited Biometrics Laboratory. The Allowed Integration Document MUST include an explanation of software and hardware changes. Biometric Data

Biometric data captured from Test Subjects SHALL be maintained in a secure manner by the Accredited Biometrics Laboratory. Biometric data MAY be provided to Vendor under an agreement between the Vendor and Test Laboratory, pursuant to laws of the jurisdiction(s) of the parties. Aside from the Vendor, the Accredited Biometrics Laboratory SHALL NOT provide the biometric data to any other third parties or FIDO, except as needed for purposes of an audit of the Accredited Biometrics Laboratory by FIDO.

Note: Additional logical security requirements are provided in Section 5.3.2. Logical Security of the FIDO Biometric Laboratory Accreditation Policy.

3.3.4. Laboratory Report

Accredited Laboratory performs testing and returns Laboratory Report to Vendor and FIDO Biometric Secretariat. The Laboratory Report must include the review of the Allowed Integration Document, the Laboratory MUST validate that the changes will not impact performance. The Laboratory Report must also include the findings of the Laboratory regarding the self-attestation of the developer (if any). Please note that requirements that address questions of self-attestation shall be understood as checklist items. This specifically means that the Laboratory is not meant to perform any comprehensive analyis with respect to the information on self-attestation received by the developer. FIDO Biometric Secretariat reviews the Laboratory Report and makes a decision to Approve, Reject, or ask for clarification.

3.3.5. Certification Request and Issuance Request Issuance FIDO Metadata Service

FIDO provides information to Relying Parties regarding FIDO Authenticators through the FIDO Metadata Service. This information could be used by Relying Parties for purposes such as determining whether it accepts the authenticator or enables certain privileges (e.g., checking an account balance vs. transferring funds).

The biometric-related information that the FIDO Metadata service provides includes the following:

Submitting Metadata to the FIDO Metadata Service is OPTIONAL. However, Metadata MUST be submitted during the Biometric Component Certification process and will be verified for accuracy and completeness during the Laboratory Evaluation.

3.4. Post-Certification Changes

Changes documented and defined by the Vendor in the Allowed Integration Document will provide the specifications for how a sensor can change during integration into an Authenticator implementation. Changes documented in the Allowed Integration Document do not require Delta or New Certification.

Any changes that were unanticipated at the time of the Biometric Component Certification (i.e. changes not included in the Allowed Integration Document) are not allowed without first completing a Delta Certification to update the Allowed Integration Document.

Post Certification Changes Process
Minor changes in Hardware that do not impact biometric performance. This includes updates/additions to the Allowed Integration Document). Delta Certification.

Justification of changes provided by the Vendor (Impact Analysis Report) and Vendor Self-Test Data Reviewed by the Accredited Laboratory. Validation of any additions to the Allowed Integration Document by the Accredited Laboratory.

Major changes in Hardware that do not impact biometric performance. New Certification
Any change in Hardware that impacts biometric performance. New Certification
Minor changes in Software that do not impact matching performance (e.g. compiled on a new platform). Delta Certification

Justification of changes provided by the Vendor (Impact Analysis Report).

Major changes in Software that impact matching performance if underlying sensor does not change. Delta Certification

Retest with Accredited Laboratory using data collected in previous testing, as long as biometric data has not been given to vendor

Any change in Software if underlying sensor is changed. New Certification

3.4.1. Delta Certification

Delta Certification is when the Vendor has made changes to the original certified implementation and the Vendor wishes for that implementation to remain certified.

Note: Delta Certification was introduced for the Authenticator Certification, but does not exist for Functional Certification.

3.4.2. Derivative Certification

Derivative Certification is when a new implementation has been created based off of a Certified implementation and the Vendor wishes to re-use the original Certification for this new implementation because there have been no changes to the Certified functionality. The intent of Derivative Certification is to reduce the burden for receiving certification for implementations that are substantially the same.

A Derivative implementation may not modify, expand, or remove functionality tested in the Biometric Certification Program. Derivative Biometric Component are bound to the Biometrics Certification Policy at the time of the original (base) certification.

Derivatives gain their own Certificate and can be listed as a separate product. Derivative Certification Process

Derivative Certification requires an assertion from the Vendor that the Certified Biometric Component (base), and the Subcomponent implementation (Derivative of base) does not modify, expand, or remove functionality that was tested during the base certification. This assertion is reviewed and approved by the Biometric Secretariat.

3.5. Certification States

A list of Certified Implementations will be maintained by the Biometric Secretariat and a public list will be available on the FIDO website. Certification may be in one of the following states: Active, Certified, Suspended, or Revoked.

3.5.1. Active

Once an application is submitted to the FIDO Secretariat, the Certification state becomes “Active”. The Accreditation remains in an “Active” during the Certification process.

This state is not shared outside of the FIDO Biometric Secretariat and Accredited Laboratory chosen by the Vendor.

3.5.2. Certified

An Implementation with a “Certified” status is one that has been issued a Certificate and is in good standing.

3.5.3. Suspended

A Biometric Certificate may be suspended, for more information on the Suspension process, see Suspension.

3.5.4. Revoked

An Authenticator Certificate may be revoked, for more information on Revocation, see Revocation.

3.6. Certification Suspension

A Certificate may be suspended by the FIDO Biometric Secretariat.

In the event that the Biometric Secretariat becomes aware of a suspension event, the Biometric Secretariat will investigate the claim to determine if the event is cause for Suspension.

The Biometric Secretariat may decide that:

Vendors will be given at least 30-day notice prior to updating the Certificate status to Suspended, along with the necessary steps to remove the Suspension.

Suspension is an indication that the Certification must undergo a Delta Certification to reactive the Certified status.

The Suspended status will not be publicly shared, but the Implementation will be removed from the Biometric Certified list on the FIDO Website while the Certificate status is Suspended.

3.7. Certification Revocation

A Certificate may be revoked by the FIDO Biometric Secretariat.

In the event that the Biometric Secretariat becomes aware of a revocation event, the Biometric Secretariat will investigate the claim to determine if the event is cause for Revocation.

Revocation events include:

  1. Certificate expiration, or

  2. Remaining in a Suspended status for more than 180 days.

Revocation is an indication that the Certificate is no longer certified and must undergo a new Certification to be certified.

The Biometric Secretariat will provide 30-day notice prior to updating the Certificate status to Revoked.

If not done so already due to a Suspension, any Revoked Certificates will be removed from the Biometric Certified list on the FIDO Website.

3.8. Dispute Resolution Process

In the event a Vendor disputes the results of decisions made by the FIDO Biometric Secretariat, a Dispute Request may be submitted to the Biometric Secretariat via a form on the FIDO Website.

Upon receipt of a Dispute Request, the FIDO Biometric Secretariat forwards the Dispute Request to the Dispute Resolution Team. The Dispute Resolution Team is responsible for determining the validity of the request and the appropriate routing of the request. The Vendor can indicate in the request if they would like to remain anonymous (the default behavior), or if their company name and implementation name may be shared with the Dispute Resolution Team.

If the certification has outstanding disputes or other issues, the certification may be delayed. Should the certification be delayed, the Biometric Secretariat will notify the Vendor seeking Certification.

3.9. Program Administration

The Certification Working Group will be responsible for maintaining these policies.

3.9.1. Sensitive Information Data Protection

The Biometric Secretariat is responsible for protecting sensitive information during transit and storage.

When submitting electronic documentation to the Biometric Secretariat, it must be uploaded using forms on the FIDO website.

All Biometric Component Certification forms and their attachments will be stored within an encrypted database only accessible by the FIDO Biometric Secretariat, and will not be shared.

Unless a previous agreement has been made between the FIDO Biometric Secretariat and the Vendor or Accredited Laboratory, all documents sent via email will not be reviewed and will be deleted. Certification Status

No Vendor, Accredited Laboratory, nor other third-party may refer to a product, service, or facility as FIDO approved, accredited, certified, nor otherwise state or imply that FIDO (or any agent of FIDO) has in whole or part approved, accredited, or certified a Vendor, Laboratory, or other third-party or its products, services, or facilities, except to the extent and subject to the terms, conditions, and restrictions expressly set forth within in an Accreditation Certification or Biometric Certificate issued by FIDO. Operational Reports

The Biometric Secretariat will provide Operations Reports as requested by FIDO or FIDO Working Groups.

Any reporting performed by the Biometric Secretariat will be performed at the aggregate level to preserve confidentiality, and will not include the specific name or details of any Vendor or Implementation.

Operational reports will include:

3.9.2. Biometric Requirement Versioning

Every certification issued by FIDO Alliance must be against an Active Version of the Biometric Requirements. Version history, including the Active Version(s) and their descriptions, will be maintained on FIDO Website.

The Document Hierarchy dictates that Biometric Requirements, as the lowest level, will always be updated and it is therefore the revision of the Biometric Requirements that will trigger the following versioning process. Biometric Requirements
Biometric Requirements refers to the document that outlines the requirements for FIDO Biometric Certification. This document includes:
  1. Biometric Requirements,

  2. Biometrics Test Procedures, Active Version(s)

The Active Version(s) of Biometric Requirements refers to a version or versions that are currently published and will be accepted for Certification. A new version of the Biometric Requirements is published and available for certification on an Evaluation Availability Date specific to that version. After this date the version becomes Active, and there will be a Transition Period (described below) where the previous Biometric Requirements are being phased out to a Sunset Date (described below). A version is no longer considered Active once the Sunset Date has passed.

The example below is a scenario for a Version 2.0 release. In this scenario, the Biometric Requirements Version 2.0 has an Evaluation Availability date of July 1, 2020. The Sunset Date for Version 1.0 is then assigned to be one year from that date. A vendor wishing to complete Certification between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 has the option to apply for Certification against the two Test Procedure versions that are active, 1.0 and 2.0. This is considered the transition period for Version 1.0. On January 1, 2021 the only Active Version will be 2.0. Since the Sunset Date for Version 1.0 has passed, and the vendor must comply with the Version 2.0 Biometric Requirements for any new or Delta Certifications.

Table of Example Active and Sunset Dates
Biometric Requirements Version Evaluation Availability Date Sunset Date
1.0 January 1, 2017 December 31, 2020
2.0 July 1, 2020 Evaluation Availability Date

Biometric Requirements will be assigned an Evaluation Availability Release Date that is equivalent to the first day the version is available for Biometric Evaluation. The Evaluation Availability Date is the date at which the version becomes an Active Version.

Biometric Requirements will include a Version Release Statement to document the Biometric Requirements that have changed from the previous version. Transition Period

Biometric Certification is associated with a particular version of Biometric Requirements. When a new version of the Biometric Requirements is available for evaluation (i.e., is an Active Version), the previous version will enter a Transition Period where it is available for Certification only up to an assigned Sunset Date. Sunset Date

A Sunset Date is the date at which a version of Biometric Requirements is no longer an Active Version accepted for Certification. New and Delta Certifications can only be made against an Active Version of Biometric Requirements.

The Sunset Date is not an indication that the biometric subcomponent becomes untrustworthy on this date. It only means that Biometric Requirements have been updated, and the Active version(s) is required for Certification. Biometric Requirements are updated when new requirements or test procedures may have entered the ecosystem. Biometric Requirements may also be updated to improve testing techniques.

When changes are made to the Biometric Requirements it must be determined how quickly these should be implemented for all evaluations. The scope and type of changes within the Biometric Requirements are used to determine the Sunset Date for previous versions.

There are three classifications of changes which allow to gauge the time period which should be assigned for the Sunset Date: Major changes, Minor changes, and Emergency changes.

Major changes would generally be noted by a change in the major version number for the Procedures. The expectation of a major change version would include a change to Requirements and/or Test Procedure(s). Major changes will be assigned a Sunset Date of 6 months to the previous version of the Biometric Requirements.

Minor changes would generally be noted by a change in the minor version number for the Procedures. The expectation of a minor change would be clarifications to the procedures, but which don’t impact the Biometric functionality. Minor changes will be assigned a Sunset Date of 6 months to the previous version of the Biometric Requirements.

Emergency changes would generally be only done under extreme circumstances such as a widespread threat that has an immediate impact on FIDO clients. When such a scenario occurs that requires changes to the Biometric Requirements, an immediate Sunset Date for previous versions would be assigned. Due to the extreme nature of the Sunset Date, changes required through an Emergency Sunset must be limited specifically to those needed to ensure the Biometric subcomponents of the FIDO client meet the defined emergency; no other changes are allowed to be included. Sunset Dates and Products Already Under Evaluation
It is important to note that any implementation with an application that has been approved by the Biometric Secretariat prior to the Sunset Date will be allowed to complete the evaluation, for Major or Minor Sunset Dates. For Emergency Sunset Dates, even products under evaluation will be required to comply with the changes included in the new version with the Emergency Sunset Date. Sunset Date Voting
The Sunset Date for a Biometric Requirements version will be recommended by the Biometric Secretariat and approved by a majority vote of the CWG. The Sunset Date is assigned when a new version of the Requirements becomes Active.


Terms defined by this specification


Normative References

Meagan Karlsson. Biometrics Laboratory Accreditation Policy. May 2019. URL:
Stephanie Schuckers; et al. FIDO Biometrics Requirements. October 2020. URL:
ISO/IEC 19795-1:2021 Information technology — Biometric performance testing and reporting — Part 1: Principles and framework. 2021. URL:
S. Bradner. Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. March 1997. Best Current Practice. URL: