Biometrics to Replace Identity Cards in India
Biometrics are being used in India to account for millions of poor citizens who haven’t been able to solidify their identity within the population. It is thought that this will out do the world’s biggest biometric database, including the United States visa programme which holds a database of 120 million, and by 2014 only half of India’s population will have had their data taken.
The type of biometric information that is being retrieved is fingerprint scanning and iris recognition with over 1.2 billion fingerprints, 2.4 billion iris scans and 1.2 billion photographs being taken. The person’s identity can be verified using a cell phone, smart phone, tablet or any device with an internet connection.
It acts as an alternative to our very own National Insurance number which if you don’t learn and lose your card because you carry it in your wallet, your identity could be stolen. Some people might argue that your biometric data could also be stolen, but with the right system and precautions, this form of identity authentication could be more secure. (Read our recent blog post about biometric data and protection)
Costs though have been kept low, first, by adopting an open policy in selecting devices and software and encouraging multiple private vendors. Second, the project is technology-neutral, not locking in to any particular hardware or software. If the technology architecture is unique, so is its accuracy in validating identities.
For more information on this new biometric scheme taking place in India, visit www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-18156858