Who is it running it?

Who is running the SecureUS 4.0 Study?

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is sponsoring the SecureUS 4.0 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 4.0 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 4.0 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 4.0 Study work?

First, we will need to determine if you are eligible to participate in the SecureUS 4.0 Study. If the online screening process indicates that you are a candidate for the study, you will be asked to attend a two hour testing session at the Johns Hopkins University test facility in Columbia, Maryland. Appointments will be available Monday – Friday during normal business hours August 2nd through August 10th 2021. 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 lanyard, 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

Additional details about procedures, requirements, data collection and storage, and other aspects of the SecureUS 4.0 Study will be provided through the Informed Consent Form and during the pre-test study overview session.


COVID-19 Safety Measures

The SecureUS 4.0 Study is committed to protecting all study participants and research team members from COVID-19. With that goal in mind, the following safety measures are in place:

  • Study participants are required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Research team members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • A limited number of participants are allowed in the test facility at any given time. Each participant is asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment time.
  • Study participants and research team members may be required to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines while at the JHU test facility (based on local government regulations).
  • To the maximum extent possible, team members operating the biometric sensors maintain social distance from participants, wear PPE, and sit behind plastic shields.

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.


Privacy Policy

Your privacy will be protected and the information you provide will only be shared with those involved with the research study if it is determined that you may be eligible to participate, unless you permit us to do so or except as required by law.

Your private information will be protected during and after your participation in the clinical research study and regardless of whether you choose to discontinue at any time.

Read our full privacy policy.Privacy