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Gabon using biometric technology for civil registry


In a bid for a better means of identification among its citizens, Gabon has initiated a National Biometric Identification System that it hopes will ultimately replace paper files.

The contract to carry out the national biometric ID system was awarded to Gemalto and falls under the “Digital Gabon” strategic modernization plan. The new system will be used as an electoral register in the coming election in 2013.

Gemalto provides biometrics technology and business solutions. It specializes in digital security and end-to-end biometric citizen enrollment solutions. In Gabon, Gemalto plans to implement a system that will include an enrolment system using the conventional desktop or mobile stations equipped with the software necessary to capture data.

Basic personal information will be entered into the system along with biometric data such as fingerprint, digital photographs and other unique features.

Fingerprint matching will be done on the collected data to ensure that not only are the records up to date but also matched to the right individual. Once completed, the current national registry will be considered as the official and master list of Gabon’s citizens. From here, the list will be used for the issuance of personal documents such as Identification cards, birth certificates, national identity cards, passports and driver’s licenses.

The new biometric system and its corresponding national identification initiative is one significant step in ensuring the reliability and accuracy of the Gabon government’s civil registry. It is also a tried and tested method of ensuring that the master list is free of fraud and tampering.

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