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India Plans Biometric Identification For All Citizens. That’s 1.2 Billion!

Biometric identification is not something new and it has been around for quite some time. But biometric identification systems has not been adopted universally. Now, India is planning to implement biometric identification for its 1.2 billion citizens, which can be the largest deployment of the technology.


This new venture by the Indian government is being pushed forth by a group of entrepreneurs within the government’s ranks. The biometric technologies that are being planned to be used in identifying the 1.2 billion citizens in the future include iris scans and finger prints.

The plan is to issue every person in India a 12-digit unique identification number called ‘Aadhaar.’ This number, together with other biometric techniques, will be used to establish for certain a person’s identity. In the past, large numbers of citizens hailing from poorer factions were denied their rights because the authorities simply couldn’t or wouldn’t identify them. With a new biometric system in place, such errors would no longer happen.

However, to implement such a nation-wide system, Indian government will have to take many measures. In some parts of India, there’s no access to electricity or internet and if the government wishes to have biometric identification in place, it will have to open up thousands of identification centers which have to be connected to a central database. Also, different departments of the Indian government will have to be trained so that they can then make use of a centralized database.

Interestingly, India is already well ahead of other countries in terms of the efficacy and effectiveness of its biometric techniques. In UK, in a failed attempt few days ago, it costed $150 per person to collect information. In India, it will cost a mere $3. This goes on to show that India may finally provide the first example of a large-scale use of biometric identification.

Courtesy: Singularity Hub

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