New Delhi says the biomarkers will help combat corruption and voter fraud. It’s just a matter of time before Americans, too, will be forced into biometrics identity cards, which precisely is what the Real ID is about.
In fact, one of the three companies that have contracted with the Indian government to scan the biometrics of every Indian is a U.S. company called L1 Identity Solutions, which Wikipedia says was recently acquired by the British-owned BAE Systems. It is claimed that “L1 and Digimarc control over 92% of the driver’s license market. Together they provide nearly all biometric solutions for state driver’s licenses, L1 being the largest provider. L1 was just awarded the passport card contract…. What Blackwater has become for the Department of Defense, L1 has become for the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security.”
Here are excerpts from a January 27, 2011 article from The Economist :
“The Indian government is trying to give all 1.2 billion Indians something like an American Social Security number, but more secure. Because each “universal identity number” (UID) will be tied to biometric markers, it will prove beyond reasonable doubt that anyone who has one is who he says he is. In a country where hundreds of millions of people lack documents, addresses or even surnames, this will be rather useful. It should also boost a wide range of businesses.
So far the process has gone smoothly. More than 1m people have been enrolled since October, and the pace is accelerating. It needs to: 1m is less than 0.1% of the population…. When an individual is enrolled, his biometric data must be compared with everyone else’s to ensure there is no duplication….
This mighty task has been awarded to [three] private contractors…Accenture and L-1 Identity Solutions of America, plus Morpho of France….
The government’s aim is to improve services and reduce corruption. A shocking two-thirds of the subsidised grain that the government allocates to the poor is either stolen or adulterated. When middlemen say they have delivered so many bags of rice to so many thousands of peasants, there is no way to tell if they are lying. But if each peasant has to scan her irises every time she picks up her ration, it will be harder to scam the system. Similar controls could be used to curb voter fraud…. A secure identity system will also help schools, reckons Suhas Gopinath, the boss of Globals, a firm that helps schools handle information. It would make it easier to monitor each student’s progress, he says. And if a student migrates to another state, his school records could move with him….
Britain has put off plans for biometric identity cards partly because of worries about soaring costs and technical snafus….”
Read the whole article HERE.