Biometrics in the developing world

With just over 12 years to go to meet UN Sustainable Development goal 16.9 of providing universal legal identity by 2030, technology purpose-built for the developing world is bringing the ambition within reach. The biometrics market for the developing world, however, is distinct from that of the developed world in some significant respects, and the developing world market will have to mature for the full benefit of these advanced technologies and good intentions to be achieved. With the recognition that

Sharing economy to leverage Aadhaar

Two major proponents of the sharing economy, Airbnb and Uber, are considering using the Aadhaar biometric identification database to authenticate their respective users in India. Aadhaar is the 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. The Aadhaar project aims to provide a single, unique identifier which captures all the demographic and biometric details of every Indian resident. At last count, over 1.1 billion people out of India’s population of 1.27 billion have

India’s Supreme Court to hear petitions on Aadhaar next week

India’s five-judge Supreme Court bench will hear several petitions challenging the legality of the Aadhaar project, said Chief Justice of India JS Khehar, according to a report by The Economic Times. The hearing, which will begin on July 18, will determine whether the mandatory nature of the program is an infringement on citizen privacy rights. Aadhaar is the 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. The Aadhaar project aims to provide a

Philippines national ID system to ensure secure delivery of social benefits

The Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary recently said that the government is set to allot a budget of $39.5M (USD) for the 2018 roll-out of its biometrics-based national identification system. A bill seeking the establishment of the national ID system was approved by the House committee on population and family relations last month. The Senate has yet to approve its counterpart bill. According to a report in the Philippine Star, an estimated 105 million Filipinos will benefit from the

Israel’s mandatory biometric ID system causes issues, lineups at airports

In the first month of Israel’s mandatory biometric identity documents initiative, 15 percent of applicants requesting new passports or identity cards have declined having their fingerprints added to the database, according to a report by Haaretz. Israel officially introduced the exclusive biometric passports and ID cards system on June 1, following several extensions of the pilot phase. Under the new procedures, a high-resolution facial photograph is automatically stored in the database, while the applicant is given the option to submit

Indian government facing privacy challenges regarding Aadhaar

The Hindu ran a recent op-ed piece in which writer Sanjay Hegdet called on the Chief Justice of India to establish the larger Bench to assess privacy challenges to Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identity number based on collected biometric information. Last week, the Union government made it mandatory to link the Aadhaar number with the permanent account number (PAN) of a person, which would be effective starting July 1. India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made Aadhaar mandatory for the filing

Accenture, Microsoft demonstrate digital identity prototype at ID2020 Summit

Accenture has partnered with with Microsoft and Avanade to provide blockchain and biometric technologies to support ID2020, a global public-private partnership that is working towards implementing digital identity on a global basis by leveraging secure and well-established systems. The companies have developed a blockchain technology-based identity prototype that runs on Microsoft Azure, designed to enable users to control who has access to their personal information, as well as when to release and share data. Using an advanced decentralized, or “distributed,”

Jamaica prioritizes establishment of national identification system

Debate on the National Identification and Registration Bill began last week in Jamaica’s House of Representatives with Prime Minister Andrew Holness saying that the government is committed to making the establishment of the National Identification System (NIDS) a priority. The Bill seeks to facilitate the establishment and regulation of a system for the registration, verification and authentication of the identity of citizens and other persons residing in Jamaica and establishment of a National Civil and Identification Database to generate national

NGO says Israel’s biometric database law an infringement of privacy rights

The Digital Rights Movement has filed a request to Israel’s High Court to block the state from a public campaign to convince the public to sign up for smartcard identification and the country’s biometric database. According to a report in The Jerusalem Post this court action is a part of the NGO’s broader campaign to get the new biometric database law struck as an unconstitutional infringement of privacy rights, asserting that the campaign is designed to fool the public into

India postpones PM’s plans to link Aadhaar to taxes

India’s Supreme Court said in a ruling that citizens cannot be forced to enroll for Aadhaar — a 12-digit unique identity number based on collected biometric information — to file tax returns, which could derail Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plans to transition to a cashless economy, according to a report by Bloomberg. The Supreme Court partially stayed a law that made the Aadhaar card mandatory for filing returns or for obtaining a 10-digit alphanumeric code the Income Tax Department issues