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BEST / Thematic network

European network for the security evaluation of biometric technologies

Nr.: CIP-ICT PSP-2008-2

Project coordination UT: Dr. ir. Raymond N.J. Veldhuis

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Tel.: +31 53 489 3368 (2780)

Email: r.n.j.veldhuis@utwente.nl

Project website:


BEST NETWORK (Biometric European STakeholders NETWORK) is a European Thematic Network on Trusted information infrastructures and biometric technologies, based on four pillars: 1) technical, scientific, and industrial excellence; 2) legal analysis and compliance; 3) ethical awareness and sensitivity; 4) public and democratic transparency and scrutiny. BEST NETWORK will draw together key stakeholders including the finest experts from across the EU to determine how biometrics can most appropriately be applied in the context of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

In keeping with the ICT-PSP Work Programme 2008 the objective of BEST NETWORK is to be instrumental in promoting the uptake of secure, convenient and trustworthy biometrics based ICT solutions for large, medium and small ID management systems. This includes the objective of ICT for user friendly administrations, public services and inclusion, one of the two focus areas of the 2008 programme.

The scope of BEST NETWORK extends beyond security applications of biometrics. While the most visible applications on the market are “mandatory” applications for state security, such as border control and national ID programmes, biometrics may become a technology with which European citizens voluntarily interact daily as an enabling, convenient technology. Among these are applications in e-commerce, e-banking and health monitoring, and also voluntary security applications such as positive identification for fast tracking border control. All of these are expected to have a profound ethical, social, and legal impact on everyday life. The first large scale implementations of biometric Identity Management Systems already revealed four basic challenges requiring an EU-wide stakeholder approach:


State-of-the-art technologies are not mature enough to provide sufficient performance, accuracy, scalability, system reliability and usability


Insufficient commonly agreed quality assessment highlights the need for further testing, evaluation, and certification


New security problems have arisen including protection against ID theft, counter-spoofing


Ethical and privacy concerns and societal acceptance

The work of BEST NETWORK will focus on promoting the development of new policy implementation schemes through working groups and workshops. Exchange of best practices will be facilitated, common cross border strategies will be developed and future pilot activities will be drafted and – if possible - defined and prepared. In addition, BEST NETWORK will focus on test and use cases, and will work to address the possible shortcomings of current applications such as visa, passport and border control applications, while also assessing how best practise can be transferred to future developments including evolving applications such as eID and electronic services.

Project duration: 2009-2011

Project budget: 478 k-€

Number of person/days: 932 person/days

Project Coordinator: European Biometrics Forum


European Biometrics Forum, Groupe des Ecoles des Télécommunications, Schiphol Nederland B.V., University of Kent, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung, Centre for Science Society and Citizenship, European Biometrics Group, University of Leeds, Rand Europe Cambridge Ltd, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ANCITEL, Hogskolen I Gjövik, UT, Università degli Studi “Roma TRE, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, BioSecure, Stichting Katholieke Universiteit Brabant / Universiteit van Tilburg, Secunet Security Networks AG, NPL Management Limited, Unabhängiges Landeszentrum

Für Datenschutz, CrossMatch Technologies, DAON Ltd, Fujitsu Services Limited, Sagem Securité S.A., EUROSMART AISBL, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Universiteit Utrecht, Technische Universität Graz


Project budget CTIT: 16 k-€

Number of person/days CTIT: 18 person/days

Involved groups: Signals & Systems (SAS)