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Biometric security: Idiap in the spotlight

The Idiap Research Institute and its Swiss Center for Biometric Research and Testing are involved in two major programs of the US government – Odin and MediFor – focused on biometric security.

Odin and MediFor’s missions are to fight against spoofing and to uncover propaganda. © Etat du Valais | Idiap
Odin and MediFor’s missions are to fight against spoofing and to uncover propaganda. © Etat du Valais | Idiap

Odin was launched in 2016 by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Its goal is to develop biometric presentation attack detection technologies to ensure biometric security systems can detect when someone is attempting to disguise their biometric identity. For Sébastien Marcel, head of the Swiss Center for Biometric Research and Testing, being part of this program is a big success: “It demonstrates the reputation of technological Valais, of Idiap ad of its Biometrics Center on the international scene. Through Odin, we hope to consolidate our expertise, develop our network and continue to position Idiap as a major player in the field of biometric security”, he said in a press release.

Media Forensics (MediFor) was launched by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military. It focuses on developing technologies for the automated assessment of the integrity of an image or video. Idiap – the only Swiss lab involved in the program – brings its unique know-how in speech and audio processing.

The Swiss Center for Biometric Research and Testing was established in 2014 in Martigny, in the canton of Valais, with a mission to advance biometric security technologies. It offers opportunities for collaboration between industry and academia in Europe and worldwide.

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