Aadhaar authentication gets a boost from iris biometrics

January 4, 2013 - 

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) is currently finishing work to introduce iris-based authentication in the first quarter of 2013, rediff reports.

As the article states, one of the biggest issues that have faced the UIDAI’s Aadhaar program is the risk of the deterioration of citizen fingerprint quality, particularly since the country has such a large farming population.

Besides allowing the UIDAI to use iris scans taken during enrollment for de-duping records, it could also use these templates in conjunction with fingerprint scans to reduce authentication failures caused by deteriorated fingerprints.

“There are some huge advantages with iris,” an unnamed UIDAI official is quoted to have said in the rediff report. “For example, a labourer’s fingerprints may get worn out, but his iris won’t. Iris patterns are much more solid and give a lot more information.”

According to the article, the UIDAI was criticized in 2011 for the seemingly excessive cost associated with scanning irises, though efficient de-duplication is complex without it.

“One fingerprint will give me limited information,” the official said. “Five fingerprints will mean more information and less chances or error. Similarly, if I have the iris (data) also, there is a wider set of information about a person, and therefore, the points of distinctness become much larger and the probability that both the iris and the finger will match is exceedingly small.”

Since low-cost iris scanners have been introduced to the market, collection is now much more feasible.

It is not immediately apparent who will be providing iris recognition technology to the UIDAI for this recent collection objective, but as reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, CMITech Company Ltd. Was recently awarded certification for its BMT-20 iris recognition camera by the STQC in India. The STQC regulates all biometric devices to be used in India’s Unique ID program.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for BiometricUpdate.com. His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for CBCNews.ca, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj