[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 172 (Thursday, September 5, 2013)]
[Pages 54626-54629]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21491]



National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket No. 130402311-3311-01]

Announcing Approval of Federal Information Processing Standard 
(FIPS) Publication 201-2, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of 
Federal Employees and Contractors

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice announces the Secretary of Commerce's approval of 
Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 201-2, 
Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and 
Contractors. FIPS 201-2 includes clarifications to existing text, 
additional text in cases where there were ambiguities, adaptation to 
changes in the environment since the publication of FIPS 201-1, and 
specific changes requested by Federal agencies and implementers.

DATES: FIPS 201-2 is effective on September 5, 2013.

ADDRESSES: FIPS 201-2 is available electronically from the NIST Web 
site at: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsFIPS.html. Comments that 
were received on the proposed changes will also be published 
electronically at http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SNS/piv/index.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hildegard Ferraiolo, (301) 975-6972, 
National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail 
Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930, email: 
[email protected], or David Cooper, (301) 975-3194, 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FIPS 201 was issued on April 8, 2005 (70 FR 
17975) in response to Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 
(HSPD-12), and in accordance with NIST policy was due for review in 
2010. In consideration of technological advancements over the last five 
years and specific requests for changes from United States Government 
(USG) stakeholders, NIST determined that a revision of FIPS 201-1 
(version in effect) was warranted. NIST received numerous change 
requests, some of which, after analysis and coordination with the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and USG stakeholders, were 
incorporated in a proposed draft of FIPS 201-2 (``2011 Draft''). Other 
change requests incorporated in the 2011 Draft resulted from the 2010 
Business Requirements Meeting held at NIST. The meeting focused on 
business requirements of federal departments and agencies. On March 8, 
2011, a notice was published in the Federal Register (76 FR 12712), 
soliciting public comments on the 2011 Draft. During the public comment 
period, a public workshop was held at NIST on April 18-19, 2011, in 
order to present the 2011 Draft. Comments and questions regarding the 
2011 Draft were submitted by 46 entities, composed of 25 U.S. federal 
government organizations, two state government organizations, one 
foreign government organization, 16 private sector organizations, and 
two private individuals. NIST made significant changes to the 2011 
Draft based on the public comments received.
    On July 9, 2012, NIST published a notice in the Federal Register 
(77 FR 40338) announcing the Revised Draft FIPS 201-2 (``2012 Revised 
Draft''), which incorporated the changes from the 2011 Draft, based on 
the received public comments, and solicited comments on the revised 
draft standard. Comments and questions on the 2012 Revised Draft were 
submitted by 36 entities, composed of 16 U.S. federal government 
organizations, 19 private sector organizations, and one private 
individual. All comments received in response to both Federal Register 
notices have been made available by NIST at http://csrc.nist.gov. None 
of the commenters opposed the approval of a revised standard. Many 
commenters asked for clarification of the text of the standard and/or 
recommended editorial and/or formatting changes. Other commenters 
suggested modifying the requirements and asked questions concerning the 
implementation of the standard. All of the suggestions, questions, and 
recommendations within the scope of this FIPS were carefully reviewed, 
and changes were made to the standard, where appropriate. Some 
commenters submitted questions or raised issues that were related but 
outside the scope of this FIPS. Comments that were outside the scope of 
this FIPS, but that were within the scope of one of the related Special 
Publications, were deferred for later consideration in the context of 
the revisions to the Special Publications.

[[Page 54627]]

The disposition of each comment that was received has been provided 
along with the comments at http://csrc.nist.gov.
    The following is a summary and analysis of the comments received 
during the public comment period, and NIST's responses to them, 
including the interests, concerns, recommendations, and issues 
considered in the development of FIPS 201-2:
    Comment: Four commenters questioned the concept of backward 
compatibility as described in Section 1.3, Change Management, of the 
2012 Revised Draft. They suggested that the Change Management section 
should not be restricted to the effects of changes to the Standard on 
PIV Cards but also address the effects of change to PIV systems and 
sub-components. Other commenters questioned whether any change to the 
Standard could be considered backward compatible.
    Response: The Change Management section provides change management 
principles and guidelines to implementers of relying systems to manage 
newly introduced changes and modifications to the previous version of 
this Standard. In this context, changes to the Standard that do not 
necessitate changes to existing relying systems are considered to be 
backward compatible.
    Comment: Two Federal agencies were concerned about their ability to 
implement the Standard with the indicated implementation schedule 
specified in the Standard.
    Response: Issues concerning the Standard's implementation schedule 
have been referred to OMB.
    Comment: Three commenters proposed that the procedures for PIV Card 
renewal and reissuance be combined.
    Response: The Standard combines the two sections on PIV Card 
renewal and reissuance into one section called ``Reissuance.'' It 
addresses all instances in which a new PIV Card is issued to an 
existing cardholder without repeating the entire identity proofing and 
registration process.
    Comment: Two commenters proposed adding a PIV-Interoperable (PIV-I) 
Card as a valid identity source document.
    Response: The Standard does not list a PIV-I Card as an acceptable 
form of identity source documentation because it is not guaranteed to 
be a Federal or State government issued form of identification.
    Comment: One commenter requested that the Standard prohibit the 
long-term storage of biometric data.
    Response: FIPS 201-2 does not require the long-term storage of 
biometric data. However, PIV Card maintenance processes, such as 
reissuance, may be performed more efficiently if biometric data is 
maintained. Efficiency is a stated goal of HSPD-12.
    Comment: The 2012 Revised Draft states that if the biometric data 
for the background investigation and the biometric data for the PIV 
Card are collected on separate occasions, then during the second visit, 
a one-to-one biometric match of the applicant must be performed against 
the biometric data collected during the first visit. One commenter 
requested to remove the requirement for the one-to-one biometric match 
during the second visit, and that any requirements for one-to-one 
biometric matches begin after the biometric data for the PIV Card has 
been collected.
    Response: In order to satisfy the control objectives of HSPD-12, it 
is necessary to verify that the biometric data for the background 
investigation was collected from the person to whom the PIV Card will 
be issued. A one-to-one biometric comparison is therefore required.
    Comment: The 2012 Revised Draft imposes requirements to revoke the 
PIV Card under certain circumstances. Two commenters noted that the 
Standard should be more specific about the process for PIV Card 
revocation. One commenter also requested that the requirement to revoke 
the PIV Authentication and Card Authentication certificates during PIV 
Card termination be eliminated when the PIV Card is terminated for 
benign reasons.
    Response: The text has been reorganized to clearly indicate the 
steps required to revoke a PIV Card. These steps include collecting and 
destroying the PIV card, if possible, and updating any databases 
maintained by the PIV Card issuer to reflect the change in status. 
Additionally, the requirements for certificate revocation during PIV 
Card termination have been relaxed. At PIV Card termination, revocation 
of the PIV Authentication and Card Authentication certificates is 
limited to cases where the PIV Card cannot be collected and destroyed.
    Comment: One commenter indicated that a PIV derived credential on a 
mobile device should be revoked when the PIV Card's PIV Authentication 
certificate is revoked or expires.
    Response: The PIV Authentication certificate on a PIV Card is 
revoked when the PIV Card is lost or stolen. If the cardholder is 
eligible for a replacement PIV Card, the revocation of the derived 
credential would preclude the cardholder from using the derived 
credential to gain logical access to federally controlled information 
systems as an interim measure while waiting for a new PIV Card to be 
issued. Nothing in the Standard, however, prevents an agency from 
requiring its derived credential issuer to revoke a derived credential 
when the PIV Authentication certificate is revoked or expires.
    Comment: The Standard includes a new feature to remotely reset the 
PIV Card's Personal Identification Number (PIN). One commenter 
suggested that the requirement to perform a biometric match as part of 
a remote PIN reset is too restrictive and should be removed.
    Response: Removing the requirement to perform a biometric match 
from the remote PIN reset procedure would weaken the multi-factor 
authentication provided by the PIV Card. A biometric match is therefore 
required for all PIN reset procedures, regardless of whether the reset 
is performed in-person at an issuer's facility, at an unattended 
issuer-operated kiosk, or remotely from a general computing platform.
    Comment: After publication of the Standard, SP 800-104, A Scheme 
for PIV Visual Card Topography, will be withdrawn, since all 
information of the Special Publication has been incorporated in the 
Standard. One commenter requested that the visual color scheme 
requirement from Special Publication 800-104, be made optional in FIPS 
201-2 so that Federal departments and agencies with a need to 
distinguish between U.S. citizens and foreign nationals could use the 
color scheme on the PIV Card of their employees and contractors, while 
other Federal departments and agencies without the need to visually 
distinguish between U.S. citizens and foreign nationals could issue PIV 
Cards without the distinction.
    Response: The color scheme will remain mandatory in FIPS 201-2 
because departments and agencies are required to accept PIV Cards 
issued by other Federal agencies, as directed by HSPD-12. Departments 
and agencies with a need to visually identify foreign nationals need 
the color scheme to be present on all PIV Cards, not just the PIV Cards 
that they issue.
    Comment: Two commenters requested that a fourth category be added 
to the PIV Card's visual color scheme for employee affiliation or that 
the category for ``contractor'' be changed to ``non-government 
    Response: HSPD-12 establishes the scope for the Standard as ``forms 
of identification issued by the Federal Government to its employees and 
contractors (including contractor employees).'' With the scope 
established in HSPD-12, it would not be

[[Page 54628]]

appropriate for the Standard to address employee affiliation color-
codes other than employees and contractors.
    Comment: Two commenters requested that the optional tactile markers 
on the PIV Card be more precisely defined.
    Response: The two zones that are specified for tactile markers are 
intended to provide optional placement of orientation markers as a 
possible response to achieve Section 508 compliance. The implementation 
of tactile markers on PIV Cards should be coordinated with card 
    Comment: Three commenters expressed concern that the PIV Card's 
fingerprint reference data used for on-card biometric authentication 
and the PIV Card's fingerprint reference data used for off-card 
biometric authentication should not originate from the same anatomical 
fingers. The commenters noted that an attacker may maliciously obtain 
the PIV Card's fingerprint reference data during an off-card biometric 
authentication event. With the harvested reference data and with a 
malware injected computing platform, other attacks can be staged to 
target applications that use the on-card authentication mechanisms.
    Response: Section 4.4.4 of the Standard stresses the need for 
general good practices to mitigate malicious code threats. In addition 
to general good practice, the Standard allows the fingerprint reference 
data to originate from a different finger. Additionally, NIST Special 
Publication 800-76-2 will clarify the usability versus security trade 
off associated with a possible confusion about which finger to present 
at an authentication event.
    Comment: Four commenters noted that 2012 Revised Draft allows for 
use of the electronic facial image as an option for authentication in 
operator-attended PIV Card issuance and reissuance processes but does 
not extend its use as an authentication mechanism in physical access 
control environments.
    Response: Comparison of electronic facial images depends on 
carefully controlled environments with controls to camera height and 
lighting. These controls are not consistently found in general purpose 
physical access control environments. This Standard therefore limits 
facial recognition as a cost-efficient and optional authentication 
mechanism for PIV Card issuance, reissuance and verification data reset 
processes where the environment is controllable. FIPS 201-2 offers 
fingerprint biometric and iris recognition for general-purpose physical 
access control environments, as both mechanisms provide better 
accuracy, security, and speed.
    Comment: Technical issues were raised by three commenters 
concerning the need for a person identifier to be present on the PIV 
Card. The commenters stated that without a person identifier, access 
control systems are required to re-provision cardholders each time a 
cardholder replaces his or her card. A person identifier, however, 
alleviates re-provisioning by providing a persistent identifier for the 
access control systems to recognize a cardholder with a new PIV Card.
    Response: An optional person identifier will be proposed in the 
Standard's associated publication, Special Publication 800-73.
    Comment: Issues were raised by two commenters about the PIV Card's 
cryptographic keys that are used in authentication and digital 
signatures. The commenters pointed out that a PIV Card issuer should 
have the flexibility to generate the PIV Authentication key, the Card 
Authentication key, and Digital Signature key off-card.
    Response: Because the authentication mechanism used with the 
asymmetric Card Authentication key provides only some confidence in the 
cardholder's identity, off-card generation and import of this key, is 
allowed by the Standard. For the PIV Authentication key and Digital 
Signature key, however, on-card generation of the keys remains a 
requirement because an off-card generation of these keys adversely 
affects the perceived level of assurance in the cardholder's identity.
    Comment: Three commenters requested that the PIV Card's secure 
messaging feature and its virtual contact interface be made mandatory 
as soon as possible for the many beneficial features that they enable.
    Response: While there has been significant demand for the inclusion 
of secure messaging and the virtual contact interface in the Standard, 
some Federal departments and agencies have expressed concerns about the 
risks of adopting this technology. Therefore, it is appropriate to 
allow individual agencies to make a risk-based decision as to whether 
to include these technologies in their PIV Cards.
    Comment: Two commenters requested that specific requirements for 
the public key infrastructure (PKI) be addressed in the ``X.509 
Certificate Policy For The U.S. Federal Common Policy Framework'' 
rather than in the Standard, in order to allow for the requirements to 
be modified to accommodate new and emerging technologies.
    Response: As the scope of the Common Policy is not limited to PIV 
Cards, the Standard needs to include information about which 
certificate policies may be used to issue the different types of 
certificates needed for PIV Cards, as well as other PIV-specific 
information. Care has been taken to ensure that any PKI-related 
requirements specified in FIPS 201-2 are unlikely to change before the 
next revision of the Standard.
    Comment: Three commenters requested that the Standard either allow 
or require the use of a content signing-specific certificate policy 
Object Identifier (OID) in certificates issued to entities that sign 
data objects on PIV Cards.
    Response: Sections 4.2.1 and now require that after a 
transition period, certificates used to sign data objects on PIV Cards 
shall assert a content signing-specific policy OID from the ``X.509 
Certificate Policy For The U.S. Federal Common Policy Framework.''
    Comment: Three commenters noted that the 2012 Revised Draft 
describes authentication mechanisms that utilize the PIV Card and 
requested that the Standard indicate that agencies may choose to use 
other authentication mechanisms that are not applicable to the 
    Response: OMB has oversight of agency implementation of the 
Standard. Thus, it is not suitable for FIPS 201-2 to indicate that 
agencies are permitted to implement authentication mechanisms other 
than those described in FIPS 201-2.
    Comment: The 2012 Revised Draft lowers the assurance level of the 
Cardholder Unique Identifier (CHUID) authentication mechanism from some 
confidence in the identity of the cardholder to little or no 
confidence, and deprecates its use. Two commenters indicated that 
Federal departments and agencies have been working to enable their 
physical access control systems to use the CHUID authentication 
mechanism and suggested that the authentication mechanism should 
continue to be described as providing some confidence, and its use 
should not be deprecated.
    Response: In order for an authentication mechanism to provide some 
confidence in the identity of the cardholder, it would have to align 
with the requirements comparable to those specified for E-
Authentication Level 2 of NIST Special Publication 800-63-1. The CHUID 
authentication mechanism does not satisfy these requirements. It is, 
therefore, appropriate to describe the authentication mechanism as 

[[Page 54629]]

little or no confidence in the identity of the cardholder and to 
deprecate its use in authentication events.
    Revised FIPS 201-2 is available electronically from the NIST Web 
site at: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsFIPS.html.

    Authority:  In accordance with the Information Technology 
Management Reform Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-106) and the Federal 
Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-
347), the Secretary of Commerce is authorized to approve Federal 
Information Processing Standards (FIPS). Homeland Security 
Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12, entitled ``Policy for a Common 
Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors,'' 
dated August 27, 2004, directed the Secretary of Commerce to 
promulgate, by February 27, 2005, ``. . . a Federal Standard for 
secure and reliable forms of identification (the `Standard') . . . 
,'' and further directed that the Secretary of Commerce ``shall 
periodically review the Standard and update the Standard as 
appropriate in consultation with the affected agencies.''
    E.O. 12866: This notice has been determined not to be significant 
for the purposes of E.O. 12866.

    Dated: August 28, 2013.
Willie E. May,
Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2013-21491 Filed 9-4-13; 8:45 am]