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Iris ID helps India’s national identity program register one billion citizens


India’s Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI) has registered in excess of one billion citizens in the Aadhaar national identity program using Iris ID’s iris recognition biometric technology.

Iris ID has been involved in the largest online digital identity platform in the world since its inception in 2010 and has provided technology advice to the UIDAI technical committee on the benefits and usability of iris technology. Iris ID participated in the initial pilot project and helped the UIDAI organization to set iris technology standards.

93 percent of all Indian adults now have Aadhaar numbers, which are used throughout India to apply for employment, receive social services, obtain drivers licenses and passports, access bank accounts and many other daily activities. The UIDAI authenticates more than four million transactions daily.

Mohammed Murad, vice president, global development and sales for Iris ID, congratulated the UIDAI for completing registrations equal in number to about 16 percent of the world’s entire population and said that an iris-based solution has played a significant role increasing the program’s accuracy. UIDAI has been utilizing Iris ID matching technologies and several thousand iris capture devices.

“Iris-based systems have reduced the failure to enroll to 0.14 percent of citizens,” said Murad. “The anticipated failure-to-enroll rate for other biometrics is more than 35 times higher for this demographic. This helped avoid a serious situation of under enrollment.”

Also, he said, the iris-based solution is ideal in a country where 70 percent of the population is involved in manual labor — a situation that makes registration with fingerprint biometrics more challenging and often requires re-enrollment.

In a report, the UIDAI’s initial chief biometric coordinator credited the iris-based solution alone for turning the registration process into a “roaring success,” averting a “catastrophic failure.”

“We’re proud to have been involved with the UIDAI since the project’s planning stages,” said Murad. “The overwhelming success points out the reliability of iris recognition technology and why it’s become the go-to choice for identification projects large and small. In this case, the Iris ID software has proven capable of a one-to-many search in a database of more than one billion people.”

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