In India, a few million people have been registered so far - only a billion left to go!
An estimated 500 million people have no form of reliable identification. It's a problem the Indian government has set out to fix through a five-year project with a budget of US $430 million for this year. Starting six months ago with rural populations, the government has begun to create a biometric database that will eventually contain an unprecedented hundreds of millions of records. "We are talking about 10 times more than anything else that has been done before," says Anil Jain, an IEEE Fellow and distinguished professor at Michigan State University, who is an expert in biometrics.
From each volunteer participant, the government collects 10 fingerprints, 2 iris images, and a photo, and if the new data don't match any identity already enrolled, it assigns the person a unique 12-digit number. After that, a single fingerprint or iris scan should be all that's needed to verify the identity of any person. As of the end of March, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has registered more than 4 million people this way. The UIDAI hopes to eventually collect biometrics from a majority of the Indian population...