U.S. flag   An official website of the United States government
Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock (Dot gov) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

NISTIR 8334 (Draft)

Using Mobile Device Biometrics for Authenticating First Responders

Date Published: June 2021
Comments Due: July 19, 2021 (public comment period is CLOSED)
Email Questions to: psfr-nccoe@nist.gov


William Fisher (NIST), Don Faatz (MITRE), Mark Russell (MITRE), Christopher Brown (MITRE), Sanjeev Sharma (MITRE), Sudhi Umarji (MITRE), Karen Scarfone (Scarfone Cybersecurity)


Many public safety organizations (PSOs) are adopting mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to provide first responders with immediate access to the sensitive information they need from any location. However, authentication requirements meant to safeguard that information, like entering a complex password, can hinder access. Many PSOs are looking towards mobile biometric solutions to authenticate their users efficiently. Before adopting these solutions, PSOs must make informed risk decisions on their use and deployment.

This report examines how first responders could use mobile device biometrics in an authentication system and what challenges they may face in deploying these systems. This report was developed in joint partnership between the NCCoE and the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division at NIST. PSOs considering using biometrics for authenticating first responders are encouraged to use the guidelines in this NISTIR.

NOTE: A call for patent claims is included on page iii of this draft. For additional information, see the Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Patent Policy--Inclusion of Patents in ITL Publications.



authentication; biometrics; identity management; mobile devices; public safety organizations (PSOs)
Control Families

None selected


NISTIR 8334 (Draft) (DOI)
Local Download

Supplemental Material:
Submit comments (web)
Project homepage (web)

Document History:
06/02/21: NISTIR 8334 (Draft)


Security and Privacy

biometrics; mobile

public safety