About the Study

Who is it running it?

Who is running the SecureUS 3.0 Study?

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is sponsoring the SecureUS 3.0 Study. IARPA operates under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and invests in high-risk/high-payoff research programs that have the potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) is acting as an independent evaluator for the United States government for the SecureUS 3.0 Study.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is coordinating with JHU/APL to analyze coded data (de-identified) obtained during this research program and facilitate the organization and distribution of public datasets of the coded data for research purposes.

Why is it important?

Why is the SecureUS 3.0 Study important?

Biometric identification is becoming increasingly important in protecting private information and secure locations. Security systems must ensure that only authorized individuals can access protected information (banking information, health records, and so forth) and secure locations (such as travel checkpoints and private office space). As attempts to undermine security measures become more sophisticated, technology will play a greater role in protecting our personal information and supporting our national security. Continued development of new biometric technologies that can detect attempts to deceive identification and authentication systems can help meet evolving security challenges.

How it works

How will the SecureUS 3.0 Study work?

First we will need to determine if you are eligible to participate in the SecureUS 3.0 Study. If the online screening process indicates that you are a candidate for the study, you will be asked to attend a half-day testing session at the Johns Hopkins University test facility in Columbia, Maryland. Appointments will be available on weekdays from November 4, 2019 through November 15, 2019. Participation is by appointment only.

Your session will include the following pre-test elements:

  • Study overview, including a Question and Answer (Q&A) opportunity
  • Written informed consent, indicating that you understand and agree to all study procedures and requirements
  • Review and confirmation or update of the demographic information that was collected as part of the screening process
  • Check in with APL security with your government-issued ID (Note that the presence of APL security officers and Maryland State Police is part of the normal daily security at APL.)

After completing pre-test elements, you will receive a study wrist band, which will provide your unique study ID# as you progress through the testing stations.

During the testing phase, you will:

  • Complete a brief test day questionnaire
  • Have samples of your biometric data (10 fingerprints, both irises, and face) taken on commercial biometric sensors
  • Have samples of your biometric data taken on study prototype devices
  • Submit alternate samples to the same biometric sensors (commercial and prototype) after having a spoof applied by a member of the study team
    • Spoofs used in the study could include wearing a mask, a fake fingerprint, facial prosthetics (such as a fake nose), or glasses with a fake eye in the lens. You will be assigned a finger, face, or iris (eye) spoof at random. If you feel uncomfortable wearing this spoof, please tell a study team member immediately and a different spoof will be assigned.

Additional details about procedures, requirements, data collection and storage, and other aspects of the SecureUS 3.0 Study will be provided through the Informed Consent Form and during the pre-test study overview session.


What happens to the data collected?

The collected biometric samples will be processed to assess the quality of the images, the capability of the data collection systems, and the ability of the biometric recognition software to make accurate identifications.

Basic demographic information collected from participants will be analyzed to determine if any of the data collection systems have a bias for or against individuals with certain characteristics. Specifically, we will evaluate the influence of age, gender, and eye color.

All of the data collected will be associated with a study identification number (ID#) that will be randomly assigned to you. Because your ID# will be randomly generated, it will not be based on any information that could be used to identify you (e.g., social security number, initials, birth date). All data will be encrypted and stored securely.

There is also an optional opportunity for you to provide informed consent to having your collected biometric samples and minimal demographic information available to the research community as part a public dataset. There will be three separate datasets: one for each modality (i.e., one for fingerprint images, one for face images and one for iris images). This will allow interested researchers the opportunity for future research in an effort to advance the field of biometric sample collection. The datasets will NOT contain personally identifiable information other than the images of your biometric samples and some basic demographic information (age range, gender, and eye color) – they will not include your name.

How do I begin?

The first step is to complete the online screening process. The SecureUS 3.0 Study Web Screener provides additional information about the study and includes questions designed to determine if you are a good candidate for the study. The Web Screener also includes questions designed to collect demographic data that will support our research and strengthen the analysis of the data we collect. If you are interested in participating and think you might be a candidate, click the Web Screener link below: