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Biometrics, Identity and Development Research (very much) In Progress Seminar September 16, 2010, CGD Alan Gelb and Caroline Decker Biometrics Identity.

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Presentation on theme: "Biometrics, Identity and Development Research (very much) In Progress Seminar September 16, 2010, CGD Alan Gelb and Caroline Decker Biometrics Identity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biometrics, Identity and Development Research (very much) In Progress Seminar September 16, 2010, CGD Alan Gelb and Caroline Decker Biometrics Identity and Development (abbr) 3a 091510 1

2 Biometrics is not uncontroversial “The wasteful, bureaucratic and intrusive ID card scheme represents everything that has been wrong with government in recent years.” ~ UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (2010) 2 “Privacy is dead, get over it.” ~Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems (1999) Leapfrog technology, very relevant to development

3 Introduction Original motivation : cash transfers of resource rents to citizens Identification is essential But: – Identity is a much wider issue than transfers. Part of development process. – Huge Externalities to Identity – Growing number of bio programs in developing countries + new BIG player – Range of policy and coordination issues: governments, donors, private sector No overall summary… Objectives? Beyond a paper? 3

4 Outline of presentation What is biometric identification? Some system options Five +1 case studies Issues and debates on biometrics The future of biometrics and development Next steps for research? 4

5 What is Biometric Identification? Identifiers – Fingerprints – Palm prints – Footprints – Vein mapping – Hand geometry – Face prints – Earprints – Retina – Iris scans – Tongue prints – DNA – Voice prints – Gait – Dynamic Signature Possible uses – Security – Criminology – Anti-terrorism – Crowd recognition – Immigration – General identification for economic purposes Different levels of precision and intrusiveness Identifying someone based on unique physical or behavioral trait 5

6 Fingerprints Ancient: 650 BC speculation unique 150 years used for criminal forensics; digitization in 1990s 40 different points Simple readers $30 Accuracy: 99.9% -95% (latent prints, less) Early capture age about 12 Susceptible to wear, damage Potential to be fooled in lab conditions 6

7 Iris 1994 John Daugmann Iriscode algorithm 1994 John Daugmann Iriscode algorithm 266 digital feature points, still rapid comparison rate 266 digital feature points, still rapid comparison rate Very accurate: Prob 2 identical 1 in 10e78; 99% + Very accurate: Prob 2 identical 1 in 10e78; 99% + Stable by 8 months. Eyes self cleaning Stable by 8 months. Eyes self cleaning Fooled by pictures in labs newer readers also check for living eye Fooled by pictures in labs newer readers also check for living eye Does not involve physical contact Does not involve physical contact Readers $4,000 but quickly becoming cheaper Readers $4,000 but quickly becoming cheaper 7

8 Universal ID Project Typical national ID project Malaysia, Costa Rica, India, Many applications Economies of scale Concern for security Big Brother State? Upfront cost before benefits Programmatic ID Individual projects DRC, Malawi, KZN, Gujarat Smaller budgets; cost vs. savings Potential externalities Need for planning and coordination Some System Options 1 Universal vs. Programmatic Adoption 8

9 2 Payment Options for Cash Transfers Pull – Payment at specific time and location – Allows dissemination of information and services at the same time – Less convenient for staff and recipients – Example: DRC (final method: mobile pay stations) Push – Financial account necessary, possibly e-banking – Convenient - cash accessible anytime in numerous POS, merchants etc – More expensive to set up, but cost effective long term – Examples: Namibia, Botswana (ATMs), South Africa (Sekukula account) 9

10 Methods of Payment Cash – Risky: concentrated cash – No saving/banking options – Requires pull mechanism Vouchers – Allow for saving, but not banking – Requires pick up, pull payment – Safer: no cash on hand at distribution Smart Card – Can use pull or push payments – Allows for saving, not necessarily banking Bank Direct Deposit (mobile banking) – Offers externality of banking services – Push payment service 10

11 3 Identity Validation Pure Biometrics Constant through life Cannot be shared Does not require literacy Nothing for recipient to lose Cheaper, no smart card Doesn’t support offline push system Smart Card Photo ID 11

12 3 Identity Validation Pure Biometrics Smart Card – Information on card, offline system. Validation with either bio ID and: – Pin Readers cheaper Can be used remotely Can be reprogrammed when compromised Can be shared or stolen Harder for illiterate populations Photo ID 12

13 3 Identity Validation Pure Biometrics Smart Card Photo ID – Requires human interface, more susceptible to error – Easier to forge or fake – May appear cheaper than biometrics or smart card 13

14 Five +1 Cases: Afghanistan/Pakistan (UNHCR) Objective: Resettlement payments Over 200,000 refugees processed Began 2002 Iris scans before payment Prevented round-tripping Most basic use of biometric ID “It has proven very successful, meeting not only cultural needs of the refugees but the operational requirements of UNHCR.” 14

15 DRC (World Bank) Objective: demobilization payments Objective: demobilization payments 102,000 soldiers 102,000 soldiers 13 payments over one year 13 payments over one year Iris scans for registration Iris scans for registration Push system later Pull system Push system later Pull system Banking system not set up in time for full use Banking system not set up in time for full use Sparse rural areas Sparse rural areas 15

16 Malawi (DFID/Concern) Objective: cash relief after drought 2006 (DECT) 11,000 households, only lasted five months Fingerprinting for both registration and payment Smartcard bank based system but bank not fully geared up so manual payment. Biometrics not immediately cost-effective due to careful selection process, small scale, short term. 16

17 4 South Africa KZN (Government) Objective: pensions and other social payments 1990: first such known use of biometrics 5 million grants delivered per year Fingerprints for both registration and payment Modified Pull payment, fixed and mobile centers. Developed into Push system Extended nationwide; also to Namibia Apartheid  fingerprinting  grants to poor 17

18 5 a India (Andhra Pradesh Gov’t) Objective: Employment Guarantee and Pensions Replaced traditional well-run system. 5 million people Fingerprints, smartcards, Push payment system,  pure bio Convenient, little to no leakage 18

19 5b India Unique ID (UIDAI) Nationwide, multifunction program, Largest in world. ID only. Registration underway, fingerprint and iris, not yet compulsory…. Using international standards, potential to bring down costs sharply for all countries Payment systems will use Push system with POS 19

20 Debates on Biometrics 1. Too Costly? Basic registration: hardware 10c/ person.. Sao Tome 160,000 ; 5 stations cover in 2 years Haiti 10 million; 200 stations cover in 3 years National ID Costa Rica $1.11/per person; India $5; South Africa $10 Overall costs of applications need to include technology; single smartcard can cost $2 + 20 Enrolment station 

21 Are There Potential Savings? Africa: PETS leakages 30% - 60%, wages 20% Chad 98% Southern Africa: Pension theft, ghost workers in KZN…reported savings up to 20% in Namibia (NET1) India: Andhra Pradesh bio showed prior losses of 12% ; other states 30%; one state 70% India: Estimated loss of 40% social payments ($110 billion). Two thirds corruption, rest misdirection. Only 15% reaches poor. USA programs lose $4 billion to welfare double dippers each year Biometrics cannot solve all problems including those related to targeting, but can reduce leakage. Losses very low. “Technological approaches are more expensive to set up, but more cost- effective in the long run, not least because they have greater potential for multiple applications.” Innovations Report, Malawi 21

22 Potential Savings (India) 22

23 Can Bio be Used in Difficult Conditions? Technology will be difficult for rural populations? No. – One hour of training needed in DRC for operators – “Clients adapted well to technology” ~Malawi report May be easier than traditional ID methods – Different spellings of names – PINs higher-risk – Tokens or books are often lost Some applications do need mobile communications but spreading 23

24 Civil Liberties or Public Accountability? Major concern in developed world, and in views of some in developing countries But opposing view: less liberties to erode, strengthens citizens against rapacious officials Some NGOs note the increased transparency of programs strengthens accountability What privacy and civil liberties are low-income citizens likely to lose? 24

25 Undermines “Human” Approaches? Direct transfers weaken community structures? Offset: possibility of local taxation strengthening representation – See Saving Ghana from Its Oil (Moss and Young) Weakens bureaucracy and less face-time for citizens? Offset: depends on quality of governance Political economy of Bio-ID including for transfers ? – Bypasses major chunks of bureaucracy. – But potentially closer connectedness to the state because programs work? 25

26 Data Integrity for Future? Will data still be secure in 20, 30, 40 years? Will data still be secure in 20, 30, 40 years? 26

27 Questions for the Future BIOMETRICS IS COMING. How do we maximize its development potential? Programmatic introduction in LICs often associated with donor programs. Potential for huge saving in efficiency, especially in less functional states. Opens the door to better approaches. Haiti? Pakistan? How to maximize externalities, towards a more coordinated approach and international standards? Survey paper + ? CGD? Encourage research. Little rigorous exists…. 27

28 END 28


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