|By Business Wire||
|May 1, 2014 07:06 PM EDT||
The cutting edge of biometric identification — using fingerprints or eye scans to confirm a person’s identity — isn’t at the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security. It’s in India.
India’s Aadhaar program, operated by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and created to confirm the identities of citizens who collect government benefits, has amassed fingerprint and iris data on 500 million people. It is the biggest biometric database in the world, twice as big as that of the FBI. It can verify one million identities per hour, each one taking about 30 seconds.
The program unnerves some privacy advocates with its Orwellian overtones, and the U.S.-based Electronic Frontier Foundation has criticized it as a threat to privacy.
But many developing countries see biometric identification (ID) as a potential solution for millions of citizens who don’t have any official and fraud-resistant ID. The Indian government distributes $40 billion a year in food rations, but fraud is rampant because most people lack proper ID. Analysts estimate that 40 percent of India’s food rations never reach the people they are intended to help. Indeed, a new study of initial results from India’s biometric program found that it both reduced corruption and was popular with beneficiaries.
India isn’t the only developing nation to explore biometric strategies. The Center for Global Development, a Washington-based think tank, reports that 70 nations have some sort of biometric program.
Now a Stanford business professor is proposing a way to make India’s program far more accurate. Lawrence Wein, a professor of management science, applies mathematical and statistical modeling to solve complex practical puzzles.
In health care, Wein has analyzed strategies to optimize food aid in Africa and to mitigate the toll of pandemic influenza. In homeland security, he has developed strategies that the U.S. government has adopted for responding to bioterrorist attacks involving smallpox, anthrax, and botulism.
Wein’s interest in biometrics started almost a decade ago, with his analysis of fingerprint strategies used by the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program for nonresidents entering the country. That analysis influenced the government’s decision to switch from a two-finger to a 10-finger identification system.
For Indian officials, the big practical challenge has been to make the program more accurate without getting bogged down when used by a billion people.
The system has to be accurate enough to spot all but about one in 10,000 imposters. But it shouldn’t be so foolproof that it falsely rejects large numbers of people who are who they claim to be. Nor should it take so long that people have to wait in long lines. If either of those things happened, few people would sign up. Participation in India’s program is voluntary, not mandatory.
India’s system is sophisticated. When a person first enrolls, scanners take image data for all 10 fingers and both irises. When people show up at a local office to receive a benefit, they get scanned again. That data is then sent to the central database, which compares it to the person’s original enrollment data.
But comparisons are complicated. One problem is that the scanning equipment where people first enroll is usually more expensive and sophisticated than the equipment at local government offices. That sets the stage for a lot of false rejections. Making matters more difficult, fingerprints and even irises vary tremendously in how distinctive they are.
The tradeoff is between accuracy and speed. Comparing all 10 fingerprints, or both irises, is extremely accurate, but it takes about 107 seconds. That may sound lightning fast, but it isn’t for a system that is supposed to perform 1 million verifications an hour. To speed up the process, Indian officials originally compared only a person’s right thumbprint. But a single thumbprint — or any other individual fingerprint — may be too hazy to compare. Indian officials then latched on to the idea of picking a person’s best fingerprint — the one that provides the easiest match. Results were better, but not ideal.
Wein teamed up with two graduate researchers, Apaar Sadhwani and Yan Yang, to derive and test sophisticated algorithms based on the Indian biometric data. Wein didn’t charge for his work, but he thought that it might have ramifications for many other governments, as well as for commercial companies. Indeed, banks in India are already developing their own applications for the Aadhaar system.
The researchers’ solution, which Indian officials are studying at the highest levels, is to focus on a particular subset of each person’s fingerprints and eye scans that are the easiest to compare to those originally scanned. The combination of fingerprints and iris data will vary from person to person. For some people, it could be just the right index finger. For others, it could be an index finger and a thumb. Or, it could be the irises, or a combination of fingerprints and irises.
For many people, as it turned out, an easy check of only one or two fingerprints is enough for an accurate identity confirmation. For about 37 percent of people, it’s necessary to compare just the irises. And for a very small number of people, it’s necessary to compare both irises and some fingerprints.
By spending a small amount of time on most people, and more time on a minority of others, the researchers found they could keep the average verification time to just 37 seconds. That’s a bit longer than it takes to just compare one finger, but the rate of false rejections is about 200,000 times lower.
Wein doesn’t expect the United States to replicate the Indian approach. Americans are already suspicious about government surveillance, and most Americans already carry drivers’ licenses and other photo identification that are fairly hard to forge. But for low-income countries, he says, biometrics may have a big future.
The paper, “Analyzing Personalized Policies for Online Biometric Verification,” was published by PLOS ONE on May 1, 2014.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Feb. 23, 2017 11:30 PM EST Reads: 6,275
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Feb. 23, 2017 11:00 PM EST Reads: 6,999
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Feb. 23, 2017 10:00 PM EST Reads: 4,587
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Feb. 23, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 1,498
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Feb. 23, 2017 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,285
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Feb. 23, 2017 08:30 PM EST Reads: 1,438
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Feb. 23, 2017 08:15 PM EST Reads: 8,019
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
Feb. 23, 2017 07:45 PM EST Reads: 3,368
FinTech is the sum of financial and technology, and it’s one of the fastest growing tech industries. Total global investments in FinTech almost reached $50 billion last year, but there is still a great deal of confusion over what it is and what it means – especially as it applies to retirement. Building financial startups is not simple, but with the right team, technology and an innovative approach it can be an extremely interesting domain to disrupt. FinTech heralds a financial revolution that...
Feb. 23, 2017 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,735
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Feb. 23, 2017 06:45 PM EST Reads: 1,445
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Feb. 23, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 6,286
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
Feb. 23, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,716
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
Feb. 23, 2017 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,496
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Feb. 23, 2017 06:00 PM EST Reads: 13,037
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Feb. 23, 2017 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,213