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World's Largest Biometric Database 117

An anonymous reader writes "In the last two years, over 200 million Indian nationals have had their fingerprints and photographs taken and irises scanned, and given a unique 12-digit number that should identify them everywhere and to everyone. This is only the beginning, and the goal is to do the same with the entire population (1.2 billion), so that poorer Indians can finally prove their existence and identity when needed for getting documents, getting help from the government, and opening bank and other accounts. This immense task needs a database that can contain over 12 billion fingerprints, 1.2 billion photographs, and 2.4 billion iris scans, can be queried from diverse devices connected to the Internet, and can return accurate results in an extremely short time."
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World's Largest Biometric Database

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  • UIDAI Website (Score:5, Informative)

    by romit_icarus (613431) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:17PM (#40235399) Journal
    For those who are interested to know more, here is their quite detailed website [] More than anything else, it conveys the logistical and bureaucratical complexity of executing a project of this dimension across a country like India.
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by vbraga (228124) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:30PM (#40235549) Journal

    Iris scanning actually works in a way similar to a hash. You take the iris picture and find a 2048-bit number, the "IrisCode" or wherever you wanna call it. If you want to make a comparison, then you find the IrisCode for the other picture, and compute the Hamming distance between two. The threshold for match or no-match is actually a function of the database size. (I read the paper a while ago and I'm probably made a few mistakes describing it, but it works along those lines). John Daugman [] site has more details.

  • by elsurexiste (1758620) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @01:30PM (#40235551) Journal

    This is a good idea in a way because it should resolve the question of how common fingerprint matches really are.

    This is the best piece of text Slashdot had to offer in quite a while. High five, insightful internet person!

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