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Quantifying privacy and security of biometric fuzzy commitment

: Zhou, Xuebing; Kuijper, Arjan; Veldhuis, Raymond; Busch, Christoph


IEEE Computer Society:
IEEE International Conference on Biometrics, IJCB 2011 : October 10 - 13, Washington, D.C.
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4577-1358-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-4577-1357-6 (Online)
ISBN: 978-1-4577-1357-0 (USB)
8 pp.
International Joint Conference on Biometrics (IJCB) <2011, Washington/DC>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IGD ()
biometric template protection; biometric encryption; biometric; biometric identification system

Fuzzy commitment is an efficient template protection algorithm that can improve security and safeguard privacy of biometrics. Existing theoretical security analysis has proved that although privacy leakage is unavoidable, perfect security from information-theoretical points of view is possible when bits extracted from biometric features are uniformly and independently distributed. Unfortunately, this strict condition is difficult to fulfill in practice. In many applications, dependency of binary features is ignored and security is thus suspected to be highly overestimated.
This paper gives a comprehensive analysis on security and privacy of fuzzy commitment regarding empirical evaluation. The criteria representing requirements in practical applications are investigated and measured quantitatively in an existing protection system for 3D face recognition. The evaluation results show that a very significant reduction of security and enlargement of privacy leakage occur due to the dependency of biometric features. This work shows that in practice, one has to explicitly measure the security and privacy instead of trusting results under non-realistic assumptions.