From: Yona Maro
What role can biometrics play in aiding development? Alan Gelb, explains why new biometric identification technologies may be the key to radically expanding the social, political, and commercial opportunities for people in the developing world. Biometrics, he says, make it possible to fulfil for people everywhere the right to a unique, personal identity.
Alan explains that there are three principal ways in which people can identify themselves. The first can be something that you have, like a driver’s license or credit card. The second is something you know, like a PIN or a password; and the third is something that you are, like a finger print or iris scan. Biometric technology relies on this third method in order to uniquely authenticate individuals—and the costs are plummeting.
Although biometrics are often associated with law enforcement and security, especially in the post-9/11 world, two upcoming conferences, the Third Biometric Summit in Miami on March 3-6 and the Connect ID conference in Washington, D.C. later that month also will include discussions of a booming new market: providing individual identities to hundreds of millions of people in developing countries.
Biometrics “most rapid growth is in developing countries,” Alan tells me. “Increasingly the applications are moving from security and law enforcement to a variety of development programs.”
Yona Fares Maro
Institut d’études de sécurité – SA