India, iris, UID

India: UID contains iris data, too.

All applications I’ve heard of are designed to access the UID (unique identification) biometric database have relied on fingerprints, until now.

If I’m reading this right, the state of Maharashtra (containing Mumbai & Pune) has some interest in exercising the iris end of the UID database and is preparing a pilot program to do it.

Aadhaar may soon try ‘authentic’ iris (DNA India)

The linked headline may have things backwards, though.

Aadhaar is UID — a database of identity information including biometrics. Anyone can develop apps that tie in to the UID database, and I’m pretty sure that the organization that maintains the UID database, the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), has scrupulously avoided competing in the app market by inventing its own apps or developing apps for outside customers whether they are public entities like state governments as in the example linked above, or private entities like banks.

That is wise. In maintaining the world’s most ambitious ID repository, the UIDAI has plenty on its plate already and telegraphing to would-be app developers that they are going to be in competition with the guy that “owns” all the information would certainly hinder the app market.

So, Aadhaar is not going to “try” iris biometrics. It has already carved out a section of the database dedicated to iris biometrics. The news is that the iris part of the UID database is attracting the attention of end users and the second biggest state in India is taking the first steps toward integrating UID’s iris functionality into its operations.

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