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NIST to Update Facial Recognition Standards Amid Pandemic-Driven Mask Norm

1 min read
Facial Recognition
Facial Recognition Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has begun assessments on the use of facial recognition amid the pandemic where individuals usually wear masks that cover up most of the face, Federal News Network reported Tuesday. 

NIST is conducting studies on image quality and facial recognition performance when the scanned face is partially covered by a mask.

The agency seeks to update existing guidance on facial recognition technologies to accommodate this pandemic-driven norm.

Patrick Grother, a computer scientist and biometrics expert with NIST, said on Federal Monthly Insights – Digital Transformation that some facial recognition algorithms focus on the area with the eyes.

“We started maybe two or three different bits of work, one on quality assessment – can you look at an image and say it’s a good quality image? That is important to performance downstream, Grother said. 

He said the biometrics industry will need to make cameras more flexible over the long term.