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Biometrics in the developing world

  • Author:zz
  • Source:zz
  • Release on:2017-07-28
With just over 12 years to go to meet UN Sustainable Development goal 16.9 of providing universal legal identity by 2030, technology purpose-built for the developing world is bringing the ambition within reach. The biometrics market for the developing world, however, is distinct from that of the developed world in some significant respects, and the developing world market will have to mature for the full benefit of these advanced technologies and good intentions to be achieved.
With the recognition that insufficient identity systems are not just a symptom but actually a factor contributing to underdevelopment, access to investment in identity schemes and biometrics has increased in the developing world. The number of people globally without a legal identity is decreasing rapidly, from 1.5 billion in 2016 to 1.1 billion in 2017, according to World Bank estimates, as electronic identification (eID) systems backed by biometrics are implemented in developing nations, most notably India’s Aadhaar program.
The last billion people to be registered in legal identity schemes, however, will be the most challenging. The stakes are high, for those people, their governments, and by extension all the societies they reside in.