Friday, May 27, 2011

About biometric registries and their benefits

A few days ago I was talking to our Communications Director, who told me about a meeting she had with some journalists who asked her what the benefits of a biometric registry were.

The question struck me as rather obvious, but after giving it some thought I realized that it wasn’t. It only seemed obvious to me because I belong to Smartmatic’s Identity Management unit. The truth of the matter is that the subject got stuck in my head and became the reason for writing this post.

Please let me share with you some of the reasons why biometric citizen registries are beneficial, and dare I say they are a need in these times.

I’ll start with some words about biometrics. What is it? It’s the ensemble of automated methods of analyzing certain measurable, relatively unchanging physical characteristics in humans in order to identify or authenticate individuals. Thanks to biometrics we have highly reliable methods to guarantee or improve certainty in the process of recognizing people. Therefore, biometrics  does not apply just to a particular field of work, but to a series of different services with different purposes. Since the question that started this topic had to do with its benefits, so I’ll discuss them next.

A biometric registry guarantees the exactness of its data, the security of the information, and minimizes the possibility of irregularities (fraud, identity theft) in citizen processes such as issuing identity cards, elections, immigration, etc.

It also enables projects where identity documents are issued en masse, allowing their completion in record time. A high-quality biometric registry is inclusive, since it permits the linking of the registries of all citizens regardless of their location. It’s also universal, having multiple options to accommodate people of all ages, with specific health conditions or any handicaps or limitations.

The implementation of a biometric registry cooperates toward attaining a higher degree of efficiency and transparency in public administration, allowing for quicker procedures which are also more modern, more secure, and of a better quality; making deployment processes less traumatic and providing better services to the citizens.

As we can see, the benefits of implementing a biometric registry are plenty; these are only a few. However, they all revolve around two concepts to which Smartmatic is fully committed: transparency and innovation. This is why we work harder every day, focused on giving societies around the globe modern solutions that improve our quality of life, solutions in which inclusion is guaranteed, in which the right of having an identity document is a tangible reality, leading the way to a more equitable and civilized world for everyone.
Dimas Ulacio