Polygamous men wreak havoc on Indonesia’s biometric eID system

Indonesian Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi has announced that the thousands of men with multiple wives have compromised the country’s single identification system, the Jakarta Post reports.

Problems occur as men with multiple wives try to make more than one electronic identification card for each of their marriages.

Under the previous system, which processed information manually made it easy for polygamous men to get away with having more than one ID. As officials are now recording digital fingerprints and retina scans for the new ID system, duplicates are easily spotted, making the scope of this issue identifiable.

“When the recorded data from all over Indonesia was tabulated, we found that as of December 2012, 776,000 people attempted to apply for more than one e-ID,” the home minister said.

According to the Jakarta Post article, polygamous men make up 0.5 percent of the total 174 million people who supplied biometrics for the new national eID program.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, Indonesia committed US$600 million to provide a national identity card to all of its 172 million residents last year and has been identified as the most advanced adopter of eID credentials in a recent Biometric Research Note .

By the end of 2012 the Indonesian government printed 110 million of the total 174 million eID cards, and roughly 90 million have been distributed to date and the ministry’s project exceeded its targets for 2012.
“By the middle of this year, all the eIDs must be distributed to all eligible residents so that the electronic data can be used for the upcoming 2014 elections,” Gamawan said.

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