Meet The World’s Largest Biometric Database: India’s ‘Aadhaar’

September 2, 2011 1:53 pm

We spotted this statistic today:

“India’s identity database will be an order of magnitude larger than the world’s largest existing biometric database, the US-Visit program for visas, which has data on about 100 million people. To register all 1.2 billion Indians, the system will need to collect 12 billion fingerprints and scan 2.4 billion irises. It is a project of epic proportions — not unlike the challenge of governing the world’s largest democracy.

The new number-based system, known as Aadhaar, or foundation, would be used to verify the identity of any Indian anywhere in the country within eight seconds, using inexpensive hand-held devices linked to the mobile phone network.

It would also serve as a shortcut to building real citizenship in a society where identity is almost always mediated through a group — caste, kin and religion. Aadhaar would for the first time identify each Indian as an individual. ”

Statistics Source: NYTimes

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