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Now, your children too will be fingerprinted

Thursday, 5 August 2010 - 8:48am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Iris, fingerprint details of children above 5 will be collected and attached to their parents’ Unique Identification.

Your children too will be subject to biometric scans for Unique Identification (UID) number, but only if they are above five years of age. No biometric data will be collected for infants and kids below five, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has decided.

Till now, biometrics was only restricted to those aged 18 and above.

Biometrics for children is a ticklish issue considering the possible physical changes in biometric features due to growth which, in turn, could render the collected data irrelevant. But UIDAI will now have  two different methods to gather data of children below five and above five, based on the rate of physical changes (especially the iris and fingerprint features) in children, which is faster in the latter category.

UIDAI (Karnataka) deputy director general Ashok MR Dalwai told DNA on Wednesday that kids above five would be screened for biometric data. “They will be given UID letters and linked to the IDs of their parents to ensure authentication,” he said. But at regular intervals, they would be asked to update the biometric data, until they turn 18, when he or she will get an independent UID number.

“Discussions are on to fix the interval period for updating this,” he said. Several UIDAI officials feel it is likely to be every five years.
A proof of concept study on biometrics conducted in June on 1,000 kids from LKG to Class 10,  revealed that “there won’t be large-scale changes in the biometric features of children as they grow older, and they need not wait till they turn 18 to give data for UID,” said an official.

The study was aimed at assessing the feasibility of issuing 16-digit UID numbers against their biometric data. UIDAI officials said that, based on the study, it was decided that for kids below five, including infants, no biometric data would be collected. Instead, only a UID number will be allocated to each of them and linked with their parents’ UID numbers.




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