Aadhaar to be used to issue bank accounts to all Indian households

In a stunning policy reversal, India’s new government is examining new ways to expand Aadhaar, including to issue bank accounts to all Indian households. When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assumed power earlier this summer, its leader Narendra Modi had criticized the biometric citizen registry as a “political gimmick” that could not adequately address the control of migrants or national security concerns. There was a common belief that the program, which was closely associated with the Congress Party, would be

Top biometrics news stories, week ending September 7

Here’s a recap of most popular and noteworthy biometrics industry news that appeared on BiometricUpdate.com this past week. Biometrics Week in Review: iCloud hack, Delta ID raises $5M, Mastercard branded biometric ID card, mobile app guidelines, Synaptics, Huawei Alipay parnership, ImageWare, Qualcomm patent application, interview with LifeBEAM CTO and a guest post by Steve Cook. Biometrics could prevent ‘celeb porn’ hacking incidents – By combining Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader technology with a passcode for iCloud access, users should be

Nigeria to issue national Mastercard-branded biometric ID cards

Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) announced it has launched the eID pilot program, issuing MasterCard-branded identity cards with electronic payments functionality to 13 million civilians. The program marks the largest rollout of a biometric verification card with an electronic payment solution in Nigeria, as well as the broadest financial inclusion program in Africa. The eID card is a key part of the NIMC’s mandate to develop, maintain and run Nigeria’s first central national identity database and provide proof of identity

SecuGen Corp. to release fingerprint and smartcard reader at upcoming identity event

SecuGen Corp. announced that it will be releasing a new device that combines a contactless smartcard reader with SecuGen’s FAP 20 certified, optical fingerprint sensor, the U20. It will be showcasing this new product from September 16 – 18 at the Global Identity Summit in Tampa, Florida. Packaged in a sleek case, the Hamster Pro Duo CL provides dual mode authentication for improved security. As with all SecuGen products, the solution captures high quality images, is sturdy, and is affordable

Osun State, Nigeria government to issue biometric ID card for public school students

The government of Osun State in Nigeria is issuing a new smart identity card integrated with biometrics to all public school students in the state, according to a report by This Day Live. Launched at the Salvation Army School, Alekuwodo, Oshogbo, the new biometric ID cards support the state government’s initiative to deploy technology to boost the overall planning, allocation of resources and service delivery in the education field. The Osun Smart ID, an initiative of Chams Plc, is linked

Legal expert speaks out against biometrics in India

Legal expert Usha Ramanathan says that biometric technology has performed poorly in many parts of India, according to a report by The Hindu. Ramanathan, who has been monitoring the Unique Identification Authority of India project for quite some time, recently gave a presentation titled “Interrogating the UID and the National Population Register”. “In India, we have no idea if biometrics will work or not. Two to five per cent of people do not have fingerprints that work,” Ramanathan said, referring

Bank Muscat launches biometric system compatible with national ID card

Financial services firm Bank Muscat announced it has introduced a biometric system that is compatible with the national identification card. Available across its network of 137 branches, Bank Muscat’s biometric ID system is designed to improve efficiency and facilitate faster transaction processing times. The NID enables accurate data capture during banking transactions, particularly in the case of opening new accounts. Bank Muscat has teamed up with the Royal Oman Police to launch the new biometric identification system and ultimately provide

New South African tourism rules require many tourists to obtain biometric visa in person

The South African tourism department is set to introduce new regulations in October that would require travellers to the country to obtain a biometric visa in-person. The regulations relate to introducing two new requirements for travellers to South Africa in an effort to increase security safeguards and prevent child trafficking, which is a growing epidemic in South Africa. The first requirement states that parents must provide an unabridged birth certificate for all travelling children under 18, and both South Africans

India to identify all citizens in three years, issue new biometrics card

India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave government officials a three-year deadline to identify citizens through the National Population Register (NPR). The NPR is a comprehensive identity database used for India’s census. Recently, the NPR was conferred as India’s favored national identification scheme by the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. During recent national elections, the BJP promised both to end the Aadhaar biometrics registration project and to crack down on welfare fraud. The BJP has argued that Aadhaar, which is

ImageWare signs $1M deal to provide biometric driver license system for Baja California

ImageWare Systems announced it signed a deal valued at more than $1 million with Funciones Ocupacionales Insha, to provide software that will facilitate a multi-modal biometric driver license system for the state of Baja California, Mexico. The project, which will begin in the third quarter of 2014, will help create more than one million licenses for Baja California over the next three years. For this contract, ImageWare will receive one time license fees for the software itself, along with ongoing