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The global rise of biometric ID cards


More and more people have decided to use biometric ID cards with rfid chip technology.

According to a report in 2014 by Acuity Market Intelligence, it was estimated that in five years, roughly half of the world population will be registered with national biometric identification cards.

In India, they have a national ID program known as the Aadhaar Initiative, and this national registry contains the biographic and biometric data on every enrolled citizen.

Participation in the program is voluntary, and one of the benefits that has been attracting citizens to sign-up is the promise of universal health care. The program has been collecting biometric data on the face, iris, and fingerprint of those who join.

There are extensive national fingerprint databases also within South Africa, Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) headed by the NEC Corporation.

It is claimed that HANIS was implemented in an attempt to move away from the paper system, instead replacing it with a digital database. Various police agencies have also implemented biometric systems to record the finger and palm prints of convicted criminals, along with iris scan.

Biometric identification has been used heavily at refugee camps around the world. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) biometric identity management system is said to be used to “better serve” refugees.

This program seeks to identify the bio-identification of all displaced persons around the world. The program first started in a refugee camp in Malawi and has since grown to many other refugee camps and countries, it already includes hundreds of thousands of individuals. It is said that this biometric identification method could be a solution to the ongoing refugee crisis.

National ID cards and databases are the cornerstone of government surveillance. And now that many countries have implemented national identification systems, they are looking to integrate biometric identification as well into the database. Could it be only a matter of time until these programs become mandatory and require the biometric identification of all?

If national identification cards requiring biometric data become mandatory, then people could potentially lose their jobs, be denied the right to purchase property or make exchanges in the market, open a bank account, rent an apartment, or receive government benefits, unless they give the information required.



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