mfioretti: biometrics*

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  1. Lawyers asked me for identity, officials told me they could not believe me because they weren't sure of my identity.

    Eventually I and my family surrendered to the court and were sent to jail. I could not mount a defence because lawyers asked me for my identity and residence proof to prepare the legal papers. I had none. So I could not be represented.

    That's how Tunni Rai, born in 1947 in India, spent most of his life without an official identity. As India carries out the world's biggest biometric identity creation scheme, Tunni Rai describes how he has struggled without official proof of existence.
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  2. Biometric identification has been around for decades, but it has never been used on such a large scale. Under the program — which will use iris scans and fingerprints – each man, woman, and child will receive an “Aadhaar” (meaning: foundation) 12-digit unique identification number over the next few years. For the poor in India, this promises to end a vicious cycle in which people cannot prove who they are and are thus denied what they are supposed to receive.

    Poor laborers and migrant workers, in particular, are forced to travel far from their homes to collect their wages and benefits, having to dole out bribes to predatory middlemen along the way. The same systems used for transferring benefits can be used to create an economy based on mobile transactions.

    In the process, India has industrialized the biometric space. Economies of scale have already made a drastic impact on the price of the technology.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2012-07-13)
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  3. Security researchers have discovered a way to replicate a person's eye to bypass iris-scanning security systems.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2012-07-27)
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  4. The governments of Kenya and Canada have formally approved the financing agreement for the supply of the 15,000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2012-10-23)
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  5. a person's gait and ears are as unique as their fingerprints, adding that they are harder to fake than more traditional forms of identification.

    He has built a biometric tunnel in his lab at the University of Southampton. It contains 12 cameras which measure a person's gait as they walk along it and take pictures of their ears.

    The tunnel is brightly coloured to optimise the contrast between the subject's clothing and background, making it easier for the researchers to capture a 3D image as they walk.

    "It's normal television technology - chroma key," he said referring to the green-screen backgrounds used to superimpose people against separately filmed scenes.

    "Nobody would be seen dead in a bright green suit, or a bright blue suit, or a bright red suit.

    "We haven't tested it on 60 million people yet but the results are very encouraging."

    No two people have yet been found to have the same results, and so far far nobody has been able to replicate somebody else's gait to the extent that it fooled the computer, Professor Nixon said.
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  6. Ghanaians went to the polls last Friday to cast their ballots for president. Widely viewed as a poster child for stability and democracy in a region that is fraught by civil war and conflict, the West African country must now decide how to invest its newly discovered oil wealth.

    The current elections placed the incumbent President John Dramani Mahama, 58 (@JDMahama), of the National Democractic Congress (NDC) against Nana Akufo-Addo, 64 (Nadaa2012), of the leading opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mahama favors generating wealth by investing the country’s oil revenues in infrastructure, while Akufo-Addo counters that the way to raise the population out of poverty is to invest the money in free primary and secondary education. The average Ghanaian makes $4 per day, with the majority of the population yet to experience the benefits of oil revenues.

    Technology dominated these elections, with candidates using popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to spread their messages. But it was the introduction of a biometric voter identification system that captured the most attention.

    Ghana is one of the first African countries to use biometric identification for voters.
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2012-12-16)
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  7. Pakistan is to introduce biometric controls on sales of mobile phone sim cards in an effort to thwart terrorists, according to the interior minister.

    Sim card vendors have been given three months to install biometric systems, including fingerprint readers, to confirm the identity of customers
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  8. UNIVERSITY students may have to scan their fingerprints in future - to prove they are not bunking off lectures.

    Newcastle University plans to introduce biometric scanners to bring it in line with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and clamp down on illegal immigrants.

    However, it also believes the new system will keep on top of attendance and identify home students in need of support

    Students and staff - many of whom are already protesting the move - will be monitored through the Student Attendance system from the start of next academic year.
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  9. Online course host Coursera will verify the identities of participating students using web cams and technology that can fingerprint an individual’s unique typing style under a pilot project announced this week that aims to crack down on cheating.
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  10. -
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2013-09-23)
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