International Labor Organization (ILO) Seafarers' ID - Using ...

International Labor Organization (ILO) Seafarers' ID - Using ...

International Labor Organization

(ILO) Seafarers' ID - Using

Standards to Develop a Globally

Interoperable Identity Document

Dr. John Campbell,

President, Bion Biometrics

Biometrics Consortium Conference

September 22, 2004

Outline of Presentation

• The International Labour Organization

• The Seafarers’ Identity Document (SID)

• Biometrics and the SID

• Biometric Standards and the SID

• Biometric Testing and the SID

• Conclusions

The International Labour

Organization (ILO)

• Created in 1919

• Specialised agency of the United Nations

• Tripartite Structure (Governments,

Employers and Workers with equal


• Membership: 176 Member States

The International Labour


• Adopts International Labour Standards

– Conventions (mandatory) e.g Convention


– Recommendations (Non-mandatory)

The Seafarers’ Seafarers’

Identity Document

• After September 11, 2001, there was a strong

concern over security of ports and shipping

including identity of individuals on ships

ILO considered a revision of Convention

No.108 adopted in 1958 at the International

Labour Conference in March 2002 in reponse

to a request by IMO for quick action

International Labour Conference adopted in

June 2003, the Seafarers’ Identity Documents

Convention (Revised), 2003 (No.185)

The Seafarers’ Seafarers’

Identity Document

• To improve the security of seafarers’

identification by strengthening:

• The physical aspects of the SID against falsification

• The SID’s reliability in identifying the holder as the

seafarer to whom it was issued

• The procedures around document issuance

• The ability to query for more details from issuing nations

• To enable seafarers to be granted shore leave

and to carry out professional movements

(transit to and from ships)

• To facilitate international commerce

The Seafarers’ Seafarers’

Identity Document

• Convention No.185 now ratified by

France and Jordan

• 9 February 2005, Convention No.185

enters into force

• Transitional arrangements allow 62

countries that have ratified Convention

No.108 to issue new SID

Biometrics and the SID

ILO had to consider social issues around

mandatory biometric identity document

• Tripartite structure ensured that government,

commerce and labour all had an equal say

• Certain countries more focused on security

than cost of implementation

• Countries with most seafarers very concerned

about cost

• Seafarers concerned about privacy

Biometrics and the SID

• Biometric could be used for identification in

issuing country (prevent duplicate identities, do

background checks)

• In receiving countries, biometric only used to

verify that seafarer was person to whom SID

was originally issued

• Original copy of biometric and other

information on card stored in issuing country

database (must be available 24/7) so suspicious

SIDs can be queried

Biometrics and the SID

• Biometric selected had to be:

– Reliable

– Cost-Effective

– Suitable for 1:1 or 1:many searches

• Two Fingerprints on 2D barcode selected

• Use of 2D barcode assures governments

of cheaper production and seafarers that

data can’t be altered after issuance

• This was why IC chips were not selected

Biometric Standards and the SID

• Many nations issuing, many more receiving

• Style of document and form of MRZ borrowed

from ICAO 9303

– interoperable issuance/reading established

• 2D barcode is PDF 417

– well established technology

– poor quality printing can affect readability

– each issuance system will be checked on setup

• Interoperable biometric system is harder

– Select single vendor or use international standards

Biometric Standards and the SID

ILO sought advice from ISO and ICAO

• ISO biometric standards still in draft

• Rapid deadline for Convention No. 185 meant

nations had to procure systems starting in 2004

• ISO took unusual step of allowing ILO to

completely reproduce two draft standards

ILO locked into a specific early version of

standard, but nations can begin to procure

ILO in March 2004 adopted SID-0002

Biometric Standards and the SID

• SID-0002 features 3 draft SC 37 standards

– ISO 19784 – BioAPI (SC 37 N055)

– ISO 19794-2 – Finger Minutiae (SC 37 N340)*

– ISO 19794-4 – Finger Image (SC 37 N341)*

• One is dated December, 2002 and the others

are October, 2003

• 19794-4 defines image capture parameters

• 19784 defines header of Biometric Interchange

Record (biometric part of barcode payload)

• 19794-2 defines format of minutiae record

Biometric Standards and the SID

• Creation and interpretation of header info

from BIR and minutiae record following

19794-2 are critical

• Every SID issuance system and verification

station must interpret these in the same way

• Unfortunately:

– Standards have changed since draft so vendors may

be confused between ISO version and ILO SID-0002

– No formal conformance testing standards exist

– Two fingers in one BIR is unusual

Biometric Standards and the SID

• Long term solution is to use final ISO


ILO may wish to consider other biometrics

• In order to support enhanced security of

seafarer identification, NBSP agreed to support

development of a new standard in SC 37

– Biometrics-Based Verification and Identification of


– If ratified by SC 37, will become a new formal ISO

standard that can eventually be adopted by ILO

Biometric Testing and the SID

• To guarantee global interoperability, ILO will

test every biometric sub-system to be used with

SID issuance and verification systems

• Test must include:

– Conformance

• Can biometric systems read and write BIRs that

meet all requirements of 19784 and 19794-2

– Performance

• Can biometric systems achieve false match and

false non-match < 1% on population of seafarers

– Interoperability

Biometric Testing and the SID

• Interoperability Testing has two Levels

• Basic Interoperability

– Seafarer enrolls two fingers on system A

– Can either or both be verified on system B

• Performance Based Interoprability

– Enroll System A and Verify System A

• FMR = X% and FNMR = Y%

– Enroll System A and Verify System B

• FMR = P% and FNMR = Q%

– When is performance reduction too great?

Biometric Testing and the SID

• In June, 2004 the ILO requested interested

vendors to provide fingerprint

sensor/algorithm pairs (FSAP) for testing

• Many companies expressed interest, but the

standards based requirements and timelines

eliminated all but 10 FSAP

• Detailed conformance testing (with multiple

software updates allowed) eliminated more

• The rest were tested for basic interoperability

and allowed one more software update

Biometric Testing and the SID

• The remaining FSAP will soon be tested in an

operational environment on board a ship for up

to six weeks with approximately 200 seafarers

• Every combination of enroll and verify on

different systems will be tried multiple times by

multiple (very patient) seafarers

• A detailed report will be prepared for ILO

covering all aspects of conformance,

performance and interoperability

Biometric Testing and the SID

ILO will use the results of the tests to generate

a list of approved FSAP that can be used for

SID issuance or inspection

• Countries can then procure the biometric

components of their SID systems

• Since all the biometric sensors, algorithms and

data records will have been tested against one

another, a globally interoperable system should



• SID is a globally interoperable biometric

based identity document for seafarers

• Use of standards helps to provide a basis

for a globally interoperable system

• Conformance to standards does not

guarantee interoperability

• Need standards and testing combined

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