NEC Develops Secure Biometric Authentication Technology
(JCN Newswire) – NEC Corporation (TSE: 6701) today announced the development of a secure biometric authentication technology that allows users to authenticate themselves with encrypted face information. This technology reduces the risk of misuse if face information is leaked and contributes to the expansion of safe and secure biometric authentication use cases.
With the application of this technology, all face information handled by service providers is encrypted. Therefore, even if encrypted face information is leaked, the risk of being misused for spoofing is low. Moreover, since users have a secret key for decryption, service providers cannot decrypt face information, enabling users to take advantage of the face recognition service with peace of mind.
Face recognition is increasingly being introduced as a means of identity verification, but in the unlikely event that registered face information is leaked, it may lead to misuse, such as spoofing. As a result, greater attention is being paid to technologies that perform biometric authentication while encrypting information, such as face information. Specifically, homomorphic encryption(1) is known to perform authentication processing while biometric features are encrypted, and without deteriorating the accuracy of certification.
However, homomorphic encryption can only perform simple operations, and processing speed is greatly reduced when performing the complex processing required by biometric authentication. As a result, it has been limited to “1:1 Identification,” which is used for logging into online services with relatively light processing. Conversely, the method has been difficult to apply for “1:N Identification,” such as facility entry control and transaction settlements, which require greater processing speed.
In order to overcome this challenge, NEC developed a secure biometric authentication technology that can be applied to 1:N Identification by streamlining the processing of face recognition using homomorphic encryption.
Conventionally, 1:N Identification has required authentication processing that includes complex arithmetic operations that are difficult for homomorphic encryption. However, this technology reduces processing by focusing on promising candidates through simple operations, rather than processing all registered users. This narrowing down greatly reduces the number of authentication operations, including complex operations, so that 1:N Identification can be performed at high speed, even with homomorphic encryption.
With 1:N Identification for 10,000 registered users, for example, NEC’s new technology can narrow down the number of user candidates in about 0.01 seconds. If the system narrows down the number of candidates to about 1% of the total number, it can perform face authentication processing in a speed of about 1 second.
In addition, the use of this technology does not impact the accuracy of certification.
Going forward, NEC will further develop this technology combined with Bio-IDiom(2), the company’s portfolio of biometric authentication technologies, in order to enhance the safety and security of personal information, entrance control, transaction settlements and more.
(1) Homomorphic Encryption
Cryptographic technology that can perform operations such as addition and multiplication while encrypting data