India Looking to Take Biometrics Further
September 27, 2016
In India, tech giants with biometric capable devices have been told to make their systems work with the Government’s identification schemes. If they don’t, it seems inevitable they will face barriers to selling their products in the huge Indian market. It’s further evidence of the Indian government’s determination to promote widespread adoption of biometric technology and the country is now arguably at the forefront of take-up globally.
East v West
In Europe and the west, biometrics are certainly growing in popularity – they are slowly but surely proving their worth and security to organisations and individuals. Many organisations now use solutions such as we provide here at BioStore to manage on-site security; and with the technology increasingly embedded in smartphones, biometric use is certainly on an upward curve.
However – we are long way off what is being done in India, where a full biometric identification system has been adopted and implemented by the Government.
In India, biometrics have proven themselves to be the answer to a long standing problem. Fully registering and documenting its population has been a task with huge technical and practical issues. But biometrics has made it possible to document the previously un-documentable. With a fingerprint or iris scan, there is no language barrier to overcome – vital in a country with literally hundreds of different languages are spoken – and mistaken identity is obliterated. The Government can also take a more accurate population census.
Biometrics for support
The Aadhaar scheme is part of India’s biometric program. It allows the Indian people to access all manner of public and private services through safe and secure biometric authentication. It is this compliance with this scheme that India has made a very clear objective for the tech giants of the world – effectively saying make your device work with our scheme or go elsewhere.
Ajay Bhushan Pandey, head of the Unique Identification Authority of India said at a recent conference:
“Go to your headquarters and work this out so that we can have Aadhaar-registered devices. We are doing 5 million authentications daily, and with Aadhaar-compliant devices that number will grow exponentially. There is a solid business case for technology companies to enable Aadhaar services.”
We will have to wait and see if the tech companies will want to play ball on this one. But India is not an insignificant market, and it seems the Indian people are very accepting of biometric technology and happy to use it for a whole range of services. Can the tech companies afford to look India in the eye and say No.