Lessons Learnt From UID Data Loss (
Flashback: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – That’s not good: 300,000 UID enrollments lost in hard drive crash

TSA set to expand pre-check, biometrics (FCW)

Ohio Woman ordered to spend next 5 Christmases in jail for driver’s license scam (Columbus Dispatch)

NFL teams might start checking draft prospects’ tattoos after Aaron Hernandez mess (Yahoo)

Immigration Department audits reveal large-scale fraud of visa system by Indian students and workers (ABC)“That was a porous, very bad system”

Could Thermal Imaging Soon Replace Fingerprint and Iris Scans? (M2SYS blog) — Short answer: No, at least not any time soon. A biometric modality depending on the vasculation of the face is, however, an interesting idea because unlike most novel biometric modalities, face biometrics and vascular biometrics are fairly well understood. The further into the future you look and the higher the value of the identification transaction, the better the technology looks.

Africa news

Court upholds biometric social security procurement tender (ITWeb) 

Social grant tender is valid (IOL)

Telecoms firm to Boost Efficiency with Biometric Solutions (All Africa) — access control and time-and-attendance

Kenyan High Commissioner, CODER advocate for Nigerian biometric voting system in 2015 (The Nation)

Techno Brain Launches Operations in Rwanda (All Africa) — IT leapfrogging includes a dose of biometrics.

Quick links

Afghanistan prepares for ePassports (Security Document World)

Kenya: a poor implementation of voting technology (E-lected)

Zambia to pilot biometric National Registration Cards (All Africa)

Aadhaar-linked biometric device to replace plan for smart cards at ration shops (The Hindu)

South Africa struggles with social welfare fraud (UPI)

Long-form posts from the blog this week…

Who’s in my country? That’s a tough one. – With or without biometrics, automated entry/exit systems are complex.

Brazilian ghost doctors have rubber fingers – Does the scam argue for, or against, biometric time-and-attendance systems?

Keeping school lunch biometrics in perspective – If schools are unable to keep data private, biometric template information is the last thing that should concern parents.

Kenya botches biometric election …which should surprise no one.

Older posts that made relevant by this week’s biometrics news…

Schools should consider biometrics to protect personal information

Biometrics and Biostatistics Revisited

The challenges confronting any new biometric modality

Biometrics & ID infrastructure: Perfect is the enemy of good

Around the web…

I’ve been swamped with other duties and unfortunately the blog has borne the brunt. Here’s a round-up of links that deserve a whole lot more attention than I can give them but I didn’t want them to fall through the cracks entirely.


How Biometric Tech Can be Useful for Small Businesses (PC Quest)

The Potential of Biometric Patient Identification to Identify “Mystery” Patients (M2SYS Blog)

Interview with Ramsey Billups, Vice President Biometric Solutions, 3M Cogent (findBIOMETRICS)

False-passport case highlights gap in NZ’s border security (New Zealand Herald)

Unprecedented, unmanned southwest border checkpoint opens Jan. 28 (Next Gov)

India Round-up

Security equipment industry grew by 25% in last 3 yrs – Compared to 7% for the rest of the world. (

India tries handing out cash to poor – Those waiting on the cash probably want somebody to try harder. (news24)

Jharkhand: Slow state to review ration card pact – when asked, the food and civil supplies minister admitted that at present no steps were being taken to introduce biometric system in PDS supplies. (Yahoo)

PM gives Aadhaar awards in Rajasthan (Yahoo)

OPINION: An informed choice (on technology and economic growth) (Hindustan Times)

OPINION: Blundering on land & Aadhaar (Kashmir Times)

…and a couple from India

India tries handing out cash to help teeming poor (Asia One)

“On the basis of Aadhaar, we can ensure that the benefit of schemes reach genuine beneficiaries and that there is no mediator,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last weekend.

India subsidises everything from fertilizer and food to kerosene so cutting waste is crucial to the government’s drive to rein in its budget deficit.

Aadhaar will now be used as identity proof, for bank KYC (TMCNet)

So, when a bank asks for your ID proof to open an account, all you will have to do is tap on a device that reads fingerprints and the information will be transmitted electronically in an encrypted form. The front desk will receive a message saying that the information has been received and has matched with the data available, explained an official.

Thursday roundup

There’s just too much news on biometrics and ID today to do it all justice so here are a few blog-worthy stories I just couldn’t get to:

US Private Sector Homeland Security Market – 2012 Edition. There is a trend towards upgrading of outdated security infrastructure, including cyber security, chemical & HAZMAT industry security, smart grid security, perimeter security, biometric ID, IT systems and workforce & visitors screening systems. Over the next five years, the US private sector HLS market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% from $8.6 billion in 2011 to $12.4 billion by 2016.

Palm scanners to pay for school lunch concern some Maryland parents. About 20 percent of parents have declined to participate in the program.

Cameroon: Here Comes Biometric Voter Recompilation. The recompilation of the electoral register using biometric technology is intended to tackle problems of multiple registration and other noticed lapses so that future elections in the country are transparent, free, fair and credible.

The Defense Manpower Data Center is making it easier for service members and their families to get and maintain identification cards.

UK Government to piggy-back on private relationships for public ID? Government may allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services.

Biometric Borders

If yesterday’s theme was Biometrics and Children, today’s seems to be Biometric Borders.

New procedures for Schengen visa (Zawya – UAE) – The new procedure will introduce the collection of biometric data such as fingerprint scan and digital photo in order to prevent false identifications, identity theft and fraud.
See also: Dubai, UAE: Fingerprints needed for Schengen visa (with some background on Schengen)

Ukraine: We hope to speed up visa facilitation with EU (Kyiv Post) – Biometric passports are a key step in the process.

United States: Immigrants hope to work legally (Times Free Press)

Within just a month 82,000 young immigrants nationwide applied to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. So far, close to 64,000 have scheduled appointments for fingerprinting and photographing — which ICE refers to as “biometrics” — and 29 applications had been approved as of Sept. 13.

Friday Quick Hits

Rsignia, Inc. Announces Partnership with West Virginia University Research Corporation (News Blaze)

Rsignia signed the agreement with WVURC as framework to undertake task orders with WVURC as it relates to big data visualization and incorporating biometric components into cyber security solutions.

Q&A: Why this guy implanted RFID tags in his hands, and what he does with them (Geekwire) – He’s not too high on biometrics, though.

RFID is Radio Frequency Identification, and its primary purpose is ID or identification. A lot of people think it’s for locating and it just doesn’t work that way. Basically when you boil it down, ID means access control. Every project that I ever wanted to implement or did implement is access control based.

Punching brings punctuality back (Deccan Chronicle) – Short article on Time-and-Attendance for Kochi, Kerala, India government employees.

FBI To Give Facial Recognition Software to Law-Enforcement Agencies – link-laden article at Slate.

News Round-up: Government Biometrics in the US

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. is beginning to use hand held biometric ID scanners for access to the base. (

NEW YORK State Senator urges biometric ID for Medicaid recipients (Buffalo News)

U.S. SUPREME COURT: Criminal DNA Collection Law Stays In Place (WRTV 6 – Indiana)
Contrary to the author’s assertion, collecting DNA after arrest and before trial isn’t controversial; it is evidence. Evidence can be used to exonerate as well as convict. Now, what happens to the evidence following a not guilty verdict is another matter altogether.

Mobile Hardware: Future ultrabooks will be equipped with voice recognition, face tracking and touch features, which will secure the laptops and make them easier to use…

US & Canada: Border security blueprint “the next generation of integrated cross-border law enforcement”

Fiji: Electronic voting – an overview of the biometric voter system being implemented in Fiji.

Gambia: Daily Observer: GID: 302,634 Biometric ID Cards issued so far.

Nigeria: Labour and Productivity Minister inaugurates a 10-man panel to resolve outstanding issues on the biometric verification of employees of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

Nigeria to take biometrics at all border crossings (Vanguard)

On the rising tide of insecurity, Moro disclosed that biometric machines had been ordered to enhance the collation of biometric data of anyone coming into the country and going out.

It’s hard to argue with commenter 9ja4Justice.

India: Voter ID may double up as Aadhaar card (Deccan Herald)

“We will have the unique identification numbers provided by the UID printed on the election IDs,” Quraishi said. The single ID would enable the holder to prove his elector credentials and also access the benefits of government services under Aadhaar.

UAE: New technology puts end to passport fraud (Zawya)

Dubai Visitors trying to slip into the country using fake identity documents are increasingly being caught at Dubai International Airport thanks to new passport-reading and biometrics technology designed to root out fraud.