UIDAI chairman says Aadhaar helped government save $9B

Nandan Nilekani, the first chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said that the Aadhaar Card system helped save India $9 billion by curbing cases of misuse of beneficiary welfare schemes, according to a report by Little India. “By having a unique number, you eliminate fakes and duplicates from your beneficiary and employee lists. That alone has saved the government $9 billion,” Nilekani said at a World Bank panel discussion on “Digital Economy for Development” in Washington. “It

Australian startups want access to facial biometrics database

The Australian government’s initiative to allow law enforcement agencies to access facial recognition images stored on a national database has raised privacy and state surveillance concerns. However, the executive of E4 Australia is calling on the government to take the measure one step further by allowing the private sector to access the biometric images, according to a report by Business Insider. Earlier this month, the federal government signed an agreement with its state and territory counterparts to provide law enforcement agencies

Nigeria Communications Commission stresses centralized identity database

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has once again emphasized the federal government should consolidate its multiple databases into a single database to reinforce the country’s identity management plan, according to a report by This Day. Tony Ojobo, director of public Affairs at NCC, made the decision while delivering a paper at a public forum organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). He said that creating a centralized database for the country would ensure that all Nigerians have easy

Australian government seeks to expand facial recognition system

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will call on state and territory governments to disclose driver’s licence photos for use in a national facial recognition system, according to a report by IT News. The initial phase of the facial recognition system – the face verification service (FVS) – was implemented last year, soon after it received $18.5 million in funding. FVS is designed to decrease cross-border criminal activities by allowing law enforcement agencies share the facial images of citizens in order

Brazil bolsters its biometrics-based citizen database

According to a ZDNet report, the Brazilian Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has been granted access to systems maintained by driver registration body Denatran, including the biographical and biometric data of some 60 million citizens. The Brazilian government is looking to create a single citizen database and unified ID card and has a goal to collect biometric information from 140 million citizens by 2020. TSE is responsible for leading the single biometric database efforts. According to TSE president Gilmar Mendes, the

FBI’s biometrics database to be exempt from parts of Privacy Act

The FBI has implemented a new rule which will prevent the public from finding out if their fingerprints, iris scans and other biometric information is stored in its Next Generation Identification system, according to a report by NextGov. The law enforcement agency’s Next Generation Identification system stores the biometric records of people who have undergone background checks for jobs, volunteer positions and military service, as well as of citizens who have criminal records. Effective August 31, the federal database will

Police suspect user agency insiders responsible for Aadhaar data leak

Indian police and Aadhaar officials suspect that insiders at an authentication user agency (AUA) and a KYC user agency (KUA) are responsible for last week’s Aadhaar data leak, according to sources cited in a report by Deccan Herald. On July 29, the case was transferred from High Grounds police station to the cyber crime police station. The leak was discovered when an app offered e-KYC (know your customer) certificates, allegedly by accessing an Aadhaar database without authorization. The Unique Identification

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

Turks and Caicos working to introduce biometric surveillance legislation

Earlier this month Turks and Caicos Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson revealed that the government is working to introduce biometric surveillance legislation that will aid the police in solving crimes committed on the islands. According to a report by Turks and Caicos Weekly News, the entire populace will be entered in the biometric database. “We will have legislation in place for that, it would be absolutely nonsensical to just do part of the population, we must fingerprint everyone,” explained Robinson. “The

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