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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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  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:19PM (#40235417)

    Plus when they start finding duplicate fingerprints, they're going to need to check more than one finger.

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

  • Twelve digits, eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:20PM (#40235431)

    They'll run out in a few centuries, and then what?

    Next time, go hexadecimal from the start.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:27PM (#40235497)

    India is a messed up 3rd world country with too much corruption and too much of losses to the middlemen. For example, discounted food supplies sent to the poorer sections of the society are misappropriated by the distribution stores. Very small percentage of the poorer population has bank accounts or even an identity card of any sort, or often times even a birth certificate. ( so think of trying to do something in the US without a state id.. or ssn!)

    Yes there is a chance that this will get hacked - but this has to be weighed against the good that this will do. The govt plans to create bank accounts directly from these user-ids and directly wire them money, or use it to give out benefits etc. A huge huge deal for a large country with no real social network in place!

  • Re:Outsourcing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @02:54PM (#40235853)

    Where does India outsource /their/ IT jobs for managing things like this database?

    Erm, the United States. We're the world leaders in the manufacture of sophisticated mass-surveillance and tracking technology. It's our other major export besides financial know-how, bombs, and working-class misery. The NSA is building a data center right now to track every packet of data sent within the borders of this country. And we don't just store biometric hashes -- W're taking complete, high-resolution imagery of our citizens bodies and keeping them on file. The kind of surveillance and tracking we do on our own citizens make this look like a high school science project.

    There's no reason to think we wouldn't happily help the corporation of India... er, I mean, the country of India (sorry, I'm American.. it's hard to keep corporations and governments separate).

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!