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ISO/IEC 19794 Information technology — Biometric data interchange formats — Part 5: Face image data, or ISO/IEC 19794-5 for short, is the fifth of 8 parts of the "ISO standard ISO/IEC 19794, published in 2005, which describes interchange formats for several types of "biometric data. ISO/IEC 19794-5 defines specifically a standard scheme for codifying data describing "human faces within a "CBEFF-compliant data structure, for use in "facial recognition systems. Modern "biometric passport photos should comply with this standard.[1] Many organizations and have already started enforcing its directives,[2] and several software applications have been created to automatically test compliance to the specifications.[3]

The standard is intended to allow computer analysis of face images for automated face "identification (one-to-many searching) and "authentication (one-to-one matching), as well as human identification of distinctive features such as "moles and "scars that might be used to verify identity, and human verification of computer identification results.

In order to enable applications that run on a variety of devices, including those with limited "resources (such as "embedded systems), and to improve face recognition accuracy, the specification describes not only the data format, but also additional requirements, namely: scene constraints ("lighting, pose, "expression, etc.); "photographic properties (positioning, "camera focus etc.); and digital image attributes ("image resolution, "image size, etc.).

Four face image types are introduced to define categories that satisfy the needs of different applications, and the requirements above are specified for each image type:


  1. ^ ICAO 9303 – Part 1 Machine Readable Passports. Volume 2 - Specifications for Electronically Enabled Passports with Biometric Identification Capability – section II.13.4.2
  2. ^ Photograph Specifications – "VFS Global
  3. ^ ISO/IEC 19794-5 - ICAO Face Examples

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