Verification (1:1) and identification (1:n) explanatory graphics

What is it?

These two graphics are a simple illustration and definition of verification and identification; two terms that have led to much confusion in the biometrics industry.

They clarify basic biometric recognition operation and explore different use cases for verification and identification to aid understanding. It demonstrates in a clear way how surveillance is one of many use cases and that it is important to differentiate use cases when looking at policy or regulation for biometrics.

Our experts and members have undertaken a rigorous consultation and process to review, finalise and test the content with input from diverse stakeholders and members such as from government, international organisations, academics, regulators and suppliers.

The explanation forms part of our campaign to drive for a common approach to biometrics.

How do members benefit?

Using common terminology is at the very heart of addressing the challenges our community is facing. Members will be able to point to these graphics to address any confusion around the use of the terms verification and identification for biometrics, and to illustrate specific use cases. This may be particularly useful for briefing clients or partners who are new to biometrics.

The Institute will raise awareness about these tools to ensure decision-makers and regulators understand the importance of differentiating use cases of biometrics for which they are writing policy, regulation and legislation.

We encourage you to share the graphics in any presentations you deliver or on your own website.

Who updates it?

The Institute’s Technology and Innovation Group (TIG) will review the graphic as required.

How to access it?

You can download the graphics below.


For further clarification and an easy-to-follow overview of each graphic, be sure to watch the accompanying explanatory videos featuring our CEO, Isabelle Moeller and Stephanie Schuckers, Director and Co-head of the Institute’s Technology and Innovation Group.

Verification and Identification: Basic Operating Protocols

Verification and Identification: Use cases, operating modes and data management


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