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Biometrics - News

Iris ID biometric technology helps registration of one billion citizens in Indian national identity programme

Published on 6 May, 2016
UIDAI biometric services providers have used Iris ID products in multiple configurations
Iris ID, a leading provider of iris biometric technology, has been involved in the programme since its inception in 2010

Using iris-recognition biometric technology, India’s Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI) has registered in excess of one billion citizens in a national identity programme. Iris ID, a leading provider of iris biometric technology, has been involved in the programme since its inception in 2010.

From the beginning, Iris ID provided technology advice to the UIDAI technical committee on the benefits and usability of iris technology.  Iris ID participated in the initial pilot project and helped the UIDAI organisation to set iris technology standards.

Iris technology for Aadhaar cards

The registrations, creating what are known as Aadhaar numbers, now cover 93 percent of all Indian adults. Aadhaar numbers are used throughout India to apply for employment, receive social services, obtain drivers licences and passports, access bank accounts and many other daily activities – making this the largest online digital identity platform in the world. The UIDAI daily authenticates more than 4 million transactions.

Mohammed Murad, vice president, global development and sales for Iris ID, commended the UIDAI for completing registrations equal in number to about 16 percent of the world’s entire population. He said an iris-based solution played a significant role increasing the programme’s accuracy. UIDAI has been utilising Iris ID matching technologies and several thousand iris capture devices.

“Iris-based systems have reduced the failure to enrol to 0.14 percent of citizens,” said Murad. “The anticipated failure-to-enrol rate for other biometrics is more than 35 times higher for this demographic. This helped avoid a serious situation of under enrolment.”

Accuracy and ease-of-use

Also, he said, the iris-based solution is ideal in a country where 70 percent of the population is involved in manual labour — a situation that makes registration with fingerprint biometrics more challenging and often requires re-enrolment.

In a report, the UIDAI’s initial chief biometric coordinator credited the iris-based solution alone for turning the registration process into a “roaring success,” averting a “catastrophic failure.”

“We’re proud to have been involved with the UIDAI since the project’s planning stages,” said Murad. “The overwhelming success points out the reliability of iris recognition technology and why it’s become the go-to choice for identification projects large and small. In this case, the Iris ID software has proven capable of a one-to-many search in a database of more than one billion people.

He said Iris ID technology, with its proven accuracy and ease-of-use, has been deployed by governments around the world for use in challenging environments such as national identity, voter registration, transportation and immigration. Iris ID technology is designed to be integrated with third party applications. UIDAI biometric services providers have used Iris ID products in multiple configurations. Earlier, Iris ID successfully implemented a programme with an enroled population of 60 million, which led the UIDAI to select iris technology as the main modality for issuing AADHAR cards.

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