India plans biometric database of criminals

01 November 2011

Posted by Samuel Couratin

A biometric database of India's criminals is being planned by the Government in order to match fingerprints or facial images captured from CCTV.

The resource is being created by the Home Ministry, according to India Today, with around 15 million criminals' details expected to be stored on it and accessible to all the nation's police units.

Police officers expect the central database from the National Crime Records Bureau will enable them to identify perpetrators at the click of a button and efforts are now being made to collect facial, fingerprint, palmprint and iris samples from anyone arrested or convicted of a crime in India.

Dubbed the automated multimodal biometric identification system (AMBIS), the project is reportedly set to rival the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) similar resource in the US and could be in place by 2013 in a bid to improve the speed and efficiency of crime-solving.

"This biometric data will also be compatible with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) standards," an official from the Home Ministry told the news source.

The goal of UIDAI is primarily to collect identification information for each resident of India in order to deliver Government welfare services and monitor public sector programmes.

Biometric technology is also being used in Nigeria to tackle the problem of ghost pensioners in the country, with a new Pension Reform Task Force identifying 71,135 such anomalies in public service payrolls, national television station Channels reports.

In addition, 44,320 pensioners who had never received such retirement benefits were found by the process, which involved capturing biometric information.

Federation head of service Alhaji Ibrahim Sali told the House of Representatives committee on pensions that savings worth 28 billion naira (£111 million) a year could be generated by the crackdown on ghost pensioners.

"As a result of the first biometric exercise, a total of about 44,320 pensioners who had never received pension in their lives have now been verified and their biometrics captured," he stated.

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