Iris ID to build biometric voter database for African country
29 May 2015 14:35 GMT

Iris biometrics firm Iris ID has been chosen by an unnamed African country to help create a fraud-free voter registration list and ensure fair 2015 national elections.

Iris ID wrote in a statement that the country’s election commission has chosen iris as a solution over fingerprint for the country’s 1.2 million registered voters.

The Iris ID product was selected due to its accuracy at detecting duplicate registration attempts and its speed of enrolment, as well as the speed with which the system identifies registered voters based on the unique characteristics of the iris.

“This is the first time iris recognition technology has been selected for voter registration and its adoption is now spreading widely,” said Mohammed Murad, vice president, global sales and business development for Iris ID. “The Iris ID system provides this country with one of the most sophisticated registration systems in Africa – really in the world.”

During a 2014 trial program, the election commission found the Iris ID technology was able to accurately identify 457 instances of duplicate registrations seeded into a base of 1,062 registrations.  Speed of enrolment also worked in the Iris ID’s favor.

Roy Dalle Vedove, a prominent international elections specialist and election commission consultant, said data quality determines the reliability of a database — that’s especially true with biometrics. Obtaining good biometric data requires high quality acquisition hardware and software.

He said the Iris ID technology provided the needed quality, while reducing the enrollment time by half compared to fingerprint registration.  The faster process also reduced labor costs, which represented more than two-thirds of the commission’s registration budget.

“That speed is significant in an environment where the elections provide an immutable deadline,” Vedove said. “And we completed the process with high quality data enrollment that proved the iris matching would definitely identify attempts at duplicate registration.”