The Biometric ID Grid: A Country-by-Country Guide

01/31/2017109 Comments

by James Corbett
January 31, 2017

In last week's report on India's demonetization disaster I began to connect the dots between demonetization, the push for a cashless society, and the biometric identification schemes that will eventually tie everyone's fingerprints, iris scans, and other identifying details to every transaction they ever make.

Well, that game of "connect the dots" just became even easier to play.

First, it was reported last week that a key panel advising the government on its implementation of the "digital payments ecosystem" (that is being pushed and funded by USAID) is now recommending that India links its national biometric ID database directly to tax returns.

And now comes word that India is "working on a biometrics-backed payment system that will be connected to a user’s unique ID number, or Aadhaar." (Who could have seen that coming?)

No, it doesn't take a Nostradamus to understand where this is all heading: From the cashless society and the biometric ID grid to the cashless biometric grid. And we already know about the cashless society. Now it's time to collect the data on the biometric ID grid.

And let's not be naive: As I've demonstrated before, this is a coordinated plan to institute a worldwide biometric id system to track every human on the planet.

But given how fast and furious these new biometric databases are coming online, no one person can possibly keep track of them all. That's why I'm calling on Corbett Report members to help assemble this information. Like last year's open source investigation into the War on Cash, this country-by-country guide will be updated with input from the Corbett Report community. Members of the site are invited to log in and leave links to information about the biometric ID grid in their country in the comments section below.

The Biometric ID List

Afghanistan - In 2016 the US bragged about their role in helping the Afghan Ministries of Defense and Interior roll out biometric ID systems for their workers. Also in 2016 the Afghanistan Telecom Regulatory Authority revealed that they wanted to "start linking biometrics to new SIM card registrations, to improve national security." As has been widely reported, the US military has been waging "biometric warfare" in the country as part of its invasion, occupation and (de)stabilization effort since at least 2010. The Afghanistan National Security Forces has now deployed their own Automated Biometric Information System with fingerprint, iris, and facial scan capabilities and is "compatible with the U.S. DoD ABIS and the FBI Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System."

Albania - In 2009 Albania began issuing a new type of biometric identity card. The card is in compliance with ICAO standards and contains an embedded chip that stores fingerprints and a digital photograph along with biographical information.

Australia - Australia has been issuing biometric passports since 2005 and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has been running biometrics collection centres for years to issue visas tied to visitors' biometric details. But now, Australia is about to lead us into a Brave New World with a world first: The DIBP is going to introduce the first "self-processing system" for travelers at Australian airports later this year using biometric details instead of a passport. Australian schools have implemented fingerprint scans as a method of tracking attendance at schools despite a strong backlash from parents that led to similar programs being suspended in the past.

Bahamas - Last month the Bahamas began issuing biometric passports. In keeping with international standards, the passports will require a digital photograph and fingerprints from the passport holder.

Bermuda - From June 2016 Bermuda has outsourced printing of its passports to the UK so that Bermuda's "citizens" could enjoy the "benefits" of biometric passport technology, "which includes the highest level of internationally recognised security standards."

Bolivia - In 2009 Bolivia's elections were held using an electoral voter list created by using biometric data. In 2016 the Bolivian government began a 12-month program to perform a biometric census on the country's foreign population.

Bulgaria - Bulgaria began issuing biometric identity cards (mandatory for all citizens) in March 2010. Bulgaria also issues biometric passports and driver's licenses containing embedded biometric data.

Brazil - Brazil began issuing biometric identity cards in 2011 with the intention of issuing cards as part of its Registro de Identidade Civil, which intends to capture the biometric details of all 150 million citizens by 2020. Also in 2011 the Brazilian Electoral Justice approved the roll out of a biometric voter registration system that requires voters to register their fingerprints in order to vote (which is mandatory).

Canada - Under NEXUS, the joint Canada-US "preferred traveler" program, iris scans are used to identify passengers. In 2015 the Canadian government expanded biometric screening, including fingerprints and digital photos, to visitors from all 151 visa-required countries.

Chad - The European Union is funding a program in Chad to register the biometric details of refugees and returnees fleeing war-torn neighboring countries.

Chile - In 2013 Chile rolled out its new national ID and passport infrastructure including an eID card which "is based on a multi-biometric system comprised of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and a Facial Recognition System." The country aims to issue all of its 18+ million citizens with a card by 2022.

China - In 2016 China debuted its first airport biometric entry system. The system takes travelers’ photos at security checkpoints within the airport, linking their faces to their boarding passes. In 2017, the Chinese government unveiled new biometric travel passes (including fingerprint scans) for mainland visitors to Taiwan.

Finland - Finland introduced biometric residence permit cards in 2012. The cards include a chip that stores a digital photograph and two fingerprints.

France - France has issued only biometric passports since 2009. The passport requires the collection of a biometric digital photo and eight fingerprints.

Germany - Germany introduced biometric passports in 2005 and biometric residence permits in 2011, both of which require a biometric digital photograph and two fingerprints to be collected and stored on an embedded chip. Germany's identity card does require a biometric photo, but so far fingerprint collection is optional.

Greece - In compliance with the dictates of Washington, the Greek government is set to issue new biometric IDs this year. As Greek Report notes: "Failure to create the new IDs in a timely manner could lead to a suspension in the visa-free travel to the US that Greeks currently enjoy."

India - India has been fingerprinting and iris scanning its population for years in its quest to construct the largest biometric ID database in the world. The plan to collect and store biometric details on all 1.2 billion Indian citizens is proceeding apace, and has so far registered over 1.1 billion people, including over 99% of all Indians over 18.

Iraq - In 2016 the Iraqi government began a national identity card system that uses biometric identifiers. This system has been widely criticized for legally allowing discrimination of minorities.

Israel - In 2009 the Knesset enacted the controversial Biometric Database Law to pave the way for the implementation of a national biometric ID database. Last July it was reported that the "pilot program" had come to an end and all Israeli residents would be forced to register their biometric details with the government. In December it was announced that the mandatory implementation of the database was being delayed and that fingerprints may no longer be required.

Japan - In 2007 the Japanese government began requiring fingerprints and digital photographs from all foreign travelers. Now, the government is considering implementing a biometric ID payment system which will "allow" (sic) tourists to "register their fingerprints or finger vein patterns among other personal information with the service and then deposit a set amount of money in a connected account," from which they can make purchases while in the country.

Kenya - In 2012 Kenya began biometric voter registration and in 2015 the government implemented a biometric registration system for all citizens aged 12 and over. The registration includes fingerprint collection and is tied to a national database.

Kuwait - In 2015 Kuwait passed a law requiring all citizens and visitors to submit to DNA testing for a national database. After a wave of protest, legal challenges, and opposition from the emir of Kuwait the parliament announced in October 2016 that they would "scale down" and potentially revoke the law.

Luxembourg - In accordance with EU standards Luxembourg issues biometric passports with a chip containing a digital photograph, two fingerprints and an image of the holder's signature.

Mexico - In 2011 the Mexican government began a program to issue biometric identification cards to all children between 4 and 17 years old. The cards contain a digital photograph, a fingerprint and an iris scan. The scheme is part of a broader National Population Register that will eventually extend to adults and contain the biometric details of the entire population of Mexico.

Netherlands - Since 2009 the Netherlands has issued biometric passports containing an embedded chip with a digital photograph and fingerprints. Four Dutch citizens challenged the legality of the practice of collecting fingerprints but it was approved by the European Court of Justice. Although only two fingerprints are stored on the passport's chip, four fingerprints are taken and stored by the local government in a central database that is also used to pursue criminal investigations.

New Zealand - New Zealand's Inland Revenue Department rolled out "Voice ID" in 2011 to register "customers'" voice prints and identify them in future interactions. By 2015 1.4 million of the country's 6.1 million taxpayers had registered their voice prints with the "service."

Nigeria - Nigeria is contracting with Bio-Metrica to collect citizens’ fingerprint and facial biometrics for the nation's 2018 census.

Paraguay - In 2009 Paraguay revamped its passports and mandatory identity cards for its New Identification System by adding biometric details including a thumbprint and digital photograph.

Peru - Last year Peru announced a 3-year program to issue 1.6 million biometric passports noting that these biometric documents are "required to consolidate the Schengen visa waiver process."

Philippines - In 2014 the Commission on Elections announced that biometric registration would be mandatory for all voters in the Philippines' 2016 election. However, "technical problems" meant the government had to allow some voters with incomplete or corrupted biometric data to vote anyway. Voters continue to register for polls, with the Philippines’ Commission on Elections allocating US$201,000 last month to voter registration machines (VRMs) and peripherals.

Saudi Arabia - In 2015 Saudi Arabia finalized its Automated Central System to collect and store the biometric details (including fingerprints) of all citizens and expatriates. Also in 2015 the country's biometric border security system was launched.

Sierra Leone - Just last week the Sierra Leone government confirmed receipt of 4,066 biometric registration kits that will be used to register voters for the 2018 elections. The aim is to construct a single, biometric voter register "that will capture every resident in Sierra Leone."

South Korea - In 2012 the Korean government began collecting fingerprints and digital photographs of all foreign visitors (except foreign government officials/international organization representatives and their accompanying immediate family members as well as persons under 17 years of age).

Switzerland - Switzerland launched its biometric passport in 2010 after a referendum was held to approve the measure. The referendum passed with 50.14% of the vote, making it one of the closest referendums in Swiss history. The passports adopt the "international standard" of collecting two fingerprints (one from each index finger) and a digital photograph of the holder's unsmiling face.

Trinidad and Tobago - In 2012 it was reported that the country was moving to fully implement biometric passports within five years. In 2013 the Ministry of the People and Social Development announced they were launching a fingerprint-based biometric smart card for citizens to access social benefits, citing fraud and security as reasons for the switch. The very next year the company that was manufacturing the cards warned that the system was vulnearable to identity theft and left the door open for frauds and scams. The cards were rolled out in 2015. Last year Major General Edmund Dillon, the Minister of National Security, announced the government was considering the implementation of biometric border screening at the country’s two international airports in keeping with a "United Nations security resolution requiring the implementation of security mechanisms to stop terrorists from returning to the country from abroad, with passenger screening systems being an important component of such efforts."

Ukraine - A law passed by the Yanukovych government in 2012 requires all Ukrainian citizens, regardless of age, to obtain a biometric passport.

United Kingdom - The UK under the Labour government of Tony Blair and later Gordon Brown attempted to implement a national identity register and ID card system that would have required the logging of an extensive amount of personal and biometric information in a central database. However, the program caused waves of protest and the government eventually gave in to the public outcry, scrapping the plan for the national registry and instead only implementing the biometric id scheme for foreign nationals. The UK does issue biometric passports and recent polling suggests UK adults "are now willing to embrace biometric identity for online banking."

United States - President Trump's new Executive Order on "terrorist" (sic) entry calls on the Department of Homeland Security to "expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States." (This comes as no surprise to those who warned that Trump's transition team was swarming with biometric industry workers and lobbyists.) The United States already takes digital fingerprints of all foreign tourists (except Canadians) and stores them in a database for 75 years.  The DoD has announced plans to replace Common Access Card access to information systems with biometric authentication. The US issues biometric passports and coordinates with the Canadian government on the biometric NEXUS preferred traveler program (see Canada).

Uruguay - In 2013 the Uruguayan government opened a open call for tenders for a new eID "solution." In 2014 Gemalto won the tender and began work on the new biometric eID cards that can store up to four fingerprints.

Yemen - In 2014 it was announced that the country of Yemen would be deploying M2SYS Technology's TrueVoter biometric voting platform for the upcoming constitutional referendum and national elections. The system is capable of fingerprint, iris, palm print, finger vein, palm vein, and facial recognition, but only fingerprint and facial recognition are collected by the Yemeni government.

Zambia - In 2015 Zambia announced that they would be phasing in biometric National Registration Cards for the 2016 election.

Zimbabwe - The government of Zimbabwe has ruled out biometric or electronic voting in the country's 2018 elections, but will proceed with biometric voter registration this year.

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  1. sutton says:

    James & community : I’ve asked Pippa King (UK) to get involved in your excellent work. She will contact you. Find her here meantime: Biometrics in schools She has been at the forefront of the resistance against the use of Biometrics and RFID monitoring in schools and colleges and has a wealth of knowledge.

  2. Pulpo says:


    ” Finland introduced biometric residence permit cards at the beginning of 2012. Biometric identifiers stored on the residence permit card chip include a facial image and two fingerprints.”

  3. Pulpo says:


    (NEC)”The Tokyo-based technology firm also has a large presence in Colombia. One of its biggest success stories is outfitting a football stadium in Medellín with face-recognition technology that has helped increase security during events.”

  4. Pulpo says:


    “Facial recognition supplier FaceFirst has announced that its biometric solutions currently deployed in Panama’s Tocumen International Airport are expanding into the facility’s Terminal Muelle Norte”

  5. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Be sure to share this important 5 minute Corbett Report video
    The Biometric ID Grid

  6. teilolondon says:

    There is some information in Wikipedia:

    “It was planned that, except for Denmark, Ireland and the UK, EU passports would have digital imaging and fingerprint scan biometrics placed on their RFID chips.”

  7. @rvanstel says:

    The Netherlands (and EU)

    Since 2009 all passports must contain a chip with not only the owner’s personal data, but also two fingerprints and a photo of his/her face. This is in accordance with EU legislation:

    Also, Dutch authorities are allowed to use and store personal (biometric) data for criminal investigations. This does not interfere with EU legislation and so it is up to individual EU member states to decide whether they use it or not:

  8. T.T. says:

    The Netherlands introduced the biometric ID/passport in 2006. Generation1, it includes your name,passport nr,nationality,day of birth,social security nr and a scan of your face.
    In 2009, Generation2,fingerprints were included.
    I believe, first they wanted to have a centralised data storage(for your fingerprints), later a decentralised one but in the end they ended storage all together(too much critique). And it’s only still mandatory for a passport, not ID.

    Schiphol airport starts this year with a facial recognition test.
    Using only facial recognition(no passport), in two years Schiphol wants you to be able to walk straight through.
    They’re using smart camera’s looking for ‘odd’ behaviour. Maybe even checking if your nose is cold or your heart is beating fast because that could indicate your nervous. What could go wrong…
    For more security/looking for ‘banned’ people, in Rotterdam there was a test(2011) with facial recognition in a tram.
    And there are things like the ANPR systems (Automatic Number Plate Recognition)and @migo boras at the border. Possibly(probably) they’re not only taking foto’s of your plate but also your face.
    In 2012 caterer Albron was the first one in the Netherlands to introduce biometric payment. It scans your vein pattern.
    ING was the first bank in the Netherlands to use biometric payments(voice/fingerprints)
    ABN/Mastercard NL had a biometric paying test including 750 clients of ABN Bank. 9 out of 10 people were willing to give up their cards/passwords in favor of the biometric system.
    Back in 2015, Mastercard made payment with facial recognition for a few customers possible and Raymond Veldhuis(professor University Twente) says the trend of replacing your password with the biometric system is inevitable.
    Biometric payment, it looks like the Dutch are ready for it…

    • Corbett says:

      Thanks for the tips, T.T. I’m only looking for biometric identity schemes at the moment; we’ll cover biometric payments later. But I have added the Netherlands to the list.

  9. thierry says:

    We have them since years in Luxembourg, it’s EU law.

    “The Luxembourg passport is established according to the standards for security features and biometrics in passports of EU citizens.

    The biometric passport includes an electronic chip containing the holder’s identity picture; two images of his/her digital fingerprints and an image of the signature.”

  10. Batya says:

    Sorry, I could only put part in Google translate
    Is anyone more apt than I am?

    The Netherlands

    CSI in the polder: Police looking for suspects face

    It seems TV: a computer with the police looking plummeting by hundreds of thousands of photos from a database. As in the Netherlands today. Could not that long ago? “No, we think by series like CSI.”

  11. Camille says:

    Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone News: 4000 Biometric registration kits arrive

  12. Camille says:


    More Game Time, Less Wait Time
    Getting into the venue has never been easier — it takes just the tap of a finger.

  13. sjb says:

    Spain EU
    I entered Spain last Friday on a UK passport, that will expire in June ’17 it has a chip so I was able to use the automatic customs entry machine. Here I had to look at the camera where what I think was an iris scan happened. A green laser like light focused on my eyes only? I tried moving my eyes about but it wouldn’t accept me till I kept them still. So I suppose I’m now tagged? Still you say it hasn’t been approved yet in the UK for new passports.

    BTW Something for last years report on cashless countries,in Madrid & Granada I have seen a few shops that do NOT accept cards of any sort. There are signs saying we only accept cash!!
    A bar tender said it’s because many businesses in Spain don’t want to pay tax. Having an Aussie bank card (not credit) I find the bank charges to be very painful especially if I am overseas. Now there is a cost to use the card in an atm plus a foreign transaction tax of a percentage of amount of a purchase or withdrawal.Not that that explains why businesses don’t want cards, probably more likely tax evasion?

  14. nosoapradio says:

    EU Legislation in Progress
    July 2016
    EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service

    Smart Borders: EU Entry/Exit System

    “…In line with calls from the European Parliament and the Council, and building on its earlier Smart Borders initiative, on 6 April 2016, the Commission presented a proposal for establishing a new system for registering the entry and exit of non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of the Member States. The proposal is now being discussed by the co-legislators…

    …The Commission hopes for adoption of the proposal by the end of 2016, and for the Entry/Exit System to become operational by 2020…

    …The new system would apply to all TCNs, whether visa-required or visa- exempt,

    thus significantly expanding the EU’s biometric information system.

    To balance the expansion, the set of biometric data would be reduced, compared to the previous proposal (four fingerprints and facial imaging, instead of 10 fingerprints). By using self-service systems and e-gates, TCN travellers would have their data verified, their picture or fingerprint taken and a set of questions asked. Visa-required travellers
    would also be able to see the maximum length of their authorised stay. While using the self-service system, all mandatory checks would be triggered in the security databases (SIS, Interpol Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database). By the time the traveller is guided towards a border control lane, all this information would have reached the
    border guard, who may ask additional questions before granting the passenger access to the Schengen area…”

    Which is paradoxal as article 9 of The EU general data protection regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) that will take effect in May 25 2018

    “1. Processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.”

    with a clause essentially saying “unless the person agrees to it for a particular purpose”.

    Which means, I suppose, that the Smart Borders proposal will be adopted before May of 2018.

  15. theplanet.myhome says:


    James, I think i linked this on another video.. will do again

    They want to fingerprint our children as young as 5yrs old at schools. They say its for their safety!! Right! The kicker is that anyone that visits the school or picks up children would have to be scanned as well. Sounds like a good excuse to me.


  16. MarkAustralia says:

    LAX airport has had mandatory retina and fingerprint scanning for a few years now, for all non citizens entering the country. Similarly Australia has had it as an option for those wanting to use the (much quicker) automated entry queues at it’s international airports (for a few years). The first time I was subjected to it th the USA, I was shocked but what choice did I have (if I wanted to enter). Yep they are getting us all logged and used to it.

  17. nosoapradio says:

    Then there’s a French socialist senator and member of the CNIL named Gaëtan Gorce who laments that the French parliament refuses to restrict the use of biometric data to dire security situations. Opponents to his penned amendment feared it would “bridle innovation” and might not be in harmony with EU regulations.

    This senator who had opposed (in vain) biometric hand outline scanning in school cafeterias located in his region predicts that biometrics will go mainstream (i.e. schools, public swimming pools and factory workshops) leading people to accept certain behaviors and controls that hitherto could only be exacted by police.

    He says that it’s “the domestication of the individual through technology that we’re witnessing”

    Curiously he seems to have found an ally in the form of Benoit Hamon whose KSP as socialist presidential candidate is the “universal revenue”… and it occurs to me that this would be the most effective way to get a good chunk of the populo lined up lickety split for a biometric overhaul with blessings.

    Biometric hand scans have existed in French school cafeterias in junior high and high schools since 2005.

  18. angie.wright1 says:

    It has occurred to me that a cashless society may not be very popular with the criminal classes, including those in the alphabet agencies. Difficult to imagine how they would continue to do business at the grass roots level and for that reason I would envisage considerable resistance from those quarters. Any thoughts?

  19. Lance says:


    The UK parliament looked in biometrics in 2014/5. This is their findings.

    Key points:

    1. Mobile:
    They are becoming ubiquitous and accepted because of smart phones. This enables massive data collection as they become the norm for identity verification.

    2. Covert:
    – identifying people via facial recognition software
    – from police evidence including genetic material collection (already piloted by the NeoFace system)
    – Selling this info e.g. you’re scanned leaving a casino and this info is sold to gambling marketeers.

    3. Linking:
    – linking all the biometric data which has been routinely collected for years.
    – Analytics Engines: to assess your virtual & real life data and then ‘fill in the gaps’ through personality assessment.

    4. Lots of talk about protection. But not a word about who protects us from the protectors.


    Experian UK (the gatekeepers of our sacred Credit Rating) have suggested that the majority of UK adults now trust biometric ID scanning…


    UK passports are biometric and we’re told we can’t even enter the USA without one… (NB: the only current bio data on the chip is your photo after the ID card attempt – “Turn down the heat! They keep hopping out of the pan”) (USA biometric passports only)

    A couple of companies helping secure a dystopic future…

    Fujitsu claim to already have running…

    – Biometric border control systems for the United Kingdom.
    – Visa assessment systems for the United Kingdom and Estonia.
    – Criminal records and biometrics systems for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
    – Biometric passport issuance in Japan.
    – Speaker Verification for the Australian Government.
    – Commercial, Educational and Healthcare biometric applications in the USA, UK, Spain and Japan.

    They use a new system which scans the veins in your palm.


    ZestX Labs

    A sweet shop for budding tyrants. They do the lot. It’s like a warm, pastel coloured jack boot stamping on your face.

    I’m stopping now. I rarely get depressed any more by seeing the truth, but this is one rabbit hole that’s too dark and dangerous for a Tuesday night.

  20. macburns says:

    Candidates for the nursing exam in the US must sign in at the testing center using palm vein and fingerprint ID

  21. rjgeorges says:

    Indiana (and the other states) set up a Statewide Longitudinal data System (SLDS) to collect personally identifiable data for accountability and compliance with the federal goals and guidelines as outlined in federal education legislation (Common Core)
    Each student has a STN (student test number) and each employee a SPN.The STN will include the social security number, name, zip, school, teacher, birthday, address, biometic data (finger prints, voice, prints, iris scan, facial characteristics,…). The STN and SPN will be cross-referenced and linked. As assessments are fed into the system attitudes, beliefs, values will determine the students value.
    This is part of the established national ID system, a national data base on everyone. The system will be used for decision making and the individuals’ value and job placement will be determined and by this data. The algorithms will be from prenatal to death (womb to tomb).

  22. Camille says:

    January 19, 2017

    “We wish to assure the public that since voters are identified using biometric features on voting day, no legitimately registered voters can be disenfranchised. In addition, any person whose National ID details are inconsistent with the details captured in the biometric system such a person is never allowed to vote.”

  23. horribilus says:

    The Inland Revenue Department (IRD), or tax department in New Zealand has rolled out biometric voice ID since January 2012. Voice ID stores your unique voice print.

    “It allows customers [sic] to automatically check the balance and payment dates of their IRD accounts, receive child support information, retrieve their IRD number, activate their online services account and reset passwords — even if they call outside opening hours.
    Source: ”

    Of the 6.1 million individuals registered for tax purposes “One million New Zealanders have registered for the service that speeds up call wait times”

    The IRD website claims it will protect one from identity theft. Source:

  24. Camille says:


    Zimbabwe rules out biometric voting in 2018 elections, electronic system for registration only

    “Biometric voter registration (BVR) is expected to start in March 2017.”

    “The biometric registration (BVR) system is being sourced from independent distributors and so far the government has received bids from 12 companies which reportedly include local telecoms provider Africom and Nikuv, the controversial Israeli technology firm which specialises in ID and population registration technology.”

  25. Camille says:


    Nigerian Authorities to Register Citizens’ Biometrics in 2018 Census
    January 23, 2017

    “Authorities in Nigeria are planning to employ biometrics in a nationwide census, and Bio-Metrica is providing the technology platform, the company has announced.”

  26. –Gemalto to acquire 3M’s Identity Management Business-

    HA! Identity Management.

    “Amsterdam, December 9, 2016 at 02:30am – Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 – GTO), the world leader in digital security, today announced that it has entered into agreements to acquire 3M’s Identity Management Business for US$850 million. 3M’s Identity Management Business is comprised of 3M Cogent Inc., which provides a full spectrum of biometric solutions with a focus in civil identification, border control and law enforcement, and 3M’s Document Reader and Secure Materials Businesses.”

  27. Camille says:


    Chad helps returnees at risk of statelessness to get papers

    “Chad welcomes refugees and returning Chadians alike. Samira is now one of more than 6,000 returnees who have undergone biometric registration and nationality verification under a new European Union-funded programme to support returnees and prevent statelessness.”

  28. drift says:

    South Korea

    Biometric Screening of all foreign visitors, with a few exceptions (diplomats/visiting dignitaries), has already been in place since 2012 in S. Korea.

    There are also several biometric payment options already in use or soon to be rolled out:

    2015 – Woori Bank’s biometric authentication technology (Iris Scan)

    2017 – Naked biometric payment system (palm scan)

  29. GE⊕ says:

    Switzerland launched its biometric passport in 2010.

    The move was approved by a wafer-thin majority of voters last year amid scepticism over security. The Swiss abroad will be able to get their new passports from embassies and the document will allow visa-free entry into the United States.

    “Switzerland is part of the Schengen area and is obliged to follow Schengen rules. It had until March 1, 2010 to issue biometric passports,” Markus Waldner, project leader for biometric passports at the Federal Police Office, told

    The country is one of the last to issue the e-passports or Passport 10, as they are known. France and Germany, for example, also members of the Schengen European single-border treaty, have employed the documents since 2006.

    The project to implement the passports across the country has cost SFr29 million ($28 million) and has resulted in the equipping of around 40 special issuing centres across the country.

  30. RobinHood77 says:

    All documents issued by the German government for identity purposes, require bio-metric photos.
    Fingerprints must be provided for 1) German passports and 3) residence permits, but for 2) German ID cards (issued only to German citizens and valid for travel only in Europe) they are still optional.

    1) Since 1 November 2005, German passports have had a contactless smartcard (proximity card) chip and 13.56 MHz loop antenna embedded into the front cover page, in accordance with ICAO standards. The chip and antenna are not easily visually recognisable, but their presence is indicated using the ICAO biometric passport symbol at the bottom of the front cover. It carries all the data printed in the passport, including a JPEG file of the photo, protected by a digital signature. As of 1 November 2007, applicants must provide scans of two fingerprints, which are added to the chip.

    2) German ID cards contain an ISO 18000-3and ISO 14443 compatible 13.56 MHz RFID chip that uses the ISO 7816 protocols.[4][5] The chip stores the information given on the ID card (like name or date of birth), the holder’s picture and, if the holder wishes so, also his/her fingerprints.

    3) The German residence permit, is a document issued to non-EU citizens (so-called third-country nationals)living in Germany. Since 1 September 2011, the residence permit is issued as ID-1 (credit card size) plastic cards with an embedded RFID chip. The chip stores the information given on the document (like name or date of birth), the holder’s picture and, if the holder is at least six years old, also his or her fingerprints.

  31. RobinHood77 says:

    BTW some German privacy advocates who disliked having chips in their cards put them in microwaves to destroy their functionality. I’m not sure if the German government took action against them.

  32. nosoapradio says:

    First biometric passeport delivered in France was on October 31st 2008.

    June 28th, 2009 was the date after which no French municipality could issue a “paper passport”.

    After this date people’s pre-existing “paper passports” were still valid until the expiration date.

    Of 8 fingerprints taken, the two best ones are kept for the passeport.

    As indicated by a commenter above, people were initially told that they could not enter the U.S. without a biometric passport so to humour the terrorist-obsessed Americans it was more acceptable to hand over your prints (and irises at the airport plus the TSA x-ray frisk)than to cancel your NYC shopping vacation. Now there’s been the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Bataclan concert hall massacre, the Nice Bastille day massacre and the TGV might-have-been massacre… so now it’s perfectly normal to hand over your biometric intimacy.

  33. Corbett says:

    Not strictly related to the topic of government-run biometric id schemes, but I thought this article was interesting in the light of this investigation:

    2K wins right to store your biometric facial data

    “Video game publisher 2K has just won a lengthy court case over the right to collect and store players’ biometric data. Using your console’s camera, the company employs face-scanning tech in its popular NBA series, with both 2K’s NBA 2K16 and 2K15 using the data to help players create more accurate avatars.”

    h/t @rayvahey

  34. nosoapradio says:

    A February 2009 PANAPRESS article:

    “Gabon to issue biometric passports from 30 April

    Libreville- Gabon (PANA) — The Gabonese Department of Documentation and Immigrat ion on Thursday told passport holders across the country that they had three mon t hs (up to 30 April) to change to the new biometric passport.
    The statement further noted that mobile teams would travel abroad 15 March to is sue the new passports to Gabonese in the diaspora whose current passports are va l id until December 2009.
    The new biometric passport meets the standards of the International Civil Aviati on Organisation (OACI).
    With its optic reading system based on the principle of recognition of some phys ical features like the iris or fingerprint, it helps set irrefutably an identity , secure the travellers’ personal data and avoid forgery.
    Devices tailored to the biometric mechanisms are already being used at the Léon Mba International Airport in Libreville.
    12 february 2009 14:52:00–13-522606-17-lang2-index.html

    From from February, 2012 GABON.ORG

    02/13/2012 Good Policy
    A biometric electoral list to be introduced in Gabon in 2013

    “…A complete re-engineering of the electoral list will permit the use of biometrics for the next local elections to be held in 2013. “We have a voters list that comprises the surname, first name, date of birth and parents of our citizens. We are going to add biometric data to this list, that is to say: Fingerprints and photograph”, Mr Ndongou explained.

    The government subsequently intends to extend the application of biometrics to other sectors, such as civil registration and the issuing of identification papers, in compliance with international standards…”

    • nosoapradio says:


      Somthing must have gone awry after the 2009 ominous order shown in the comment above dictating that citizens had 3 months to change over to a biometric passport as the wikipedia page lists Gabon as having biometric passports since 2014:

      “Available since 23 January 2014. The Gabonese biometric passports carry the “chip inside” symbol (EPassport logo.svg).[80]”


      Wonder if they finally implemented biometric electoral lists in 2013 as announced in the link above?

  35. nosoapradio says:

    “…Singapore’s passport is a favourite target for counterfeiters, due to the relatively liberal visa requirements for Singaporean travellers, and the tendency for immigration to clear Singaporean passport holders more quickly.[4] The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority thus adopted several measures to foil forgers, including digital photos and special ink since October 1999,

    and the Biometric passport from August 2006…”

    Singapore to Implement Biometric Screening at All Points of Entry
    Posted on January 28, 2016

    “…Iris recognition technology will be introduced at Singapore’s land and sea checkpoints

    within the next two years to boost identity verification methods, according to a recent report in Channel NewsAsia. Just last week Singapore’s Parliament passed amendments to the National Registration Act to strengthen the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). Photos and fingerprints are currently used to identify travellers at Singapore’s checkpoints, but starting next year,

    the ICA will start collecting iris images…”

  36. nosoapradio says:

    Not strictly pertinent but this from a site called BIOMETRIC UPDATE.COM

    August 9, 2016

    “…Today, in sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than 40 percent of births are unregistered, which means that those people effectively have no access to health, education or other benefits of citizenship…

    …To address the problem, iCivil has developed a comprehensive system to register newborns by way of a unique, personalized identification tag and an accompanying Android-based mobile application…

    …Under the system at birth, a newborn receives from a nurse or a midwife a bracelet which incorporates a patented unique “bubble seal”, accompanied by a QR code, a 2-D barcode that can store digital information, and a serial number.
    Once the bracelet is assigned, the nurse or a midwife can use an Android-based mobile application from iCivil to fill out a questionnaire, which records vital data, including the names of parents and the child, along with the gender of child and other important details…”

    I’m just curious as to what the “other important details” refers to, as you know where the devil’s always hiding…

  37. nosoapradio says:

    Just for fun:

    Face recognition app taking Russia by storm may bring end to public anonymity

    May 17th, 2016

    “…The startup is in the final stages of signing a contract with Moscow city government to work with the city’s network of 150,000 CCTV cameras. If a crime is committed, the mugshots of anyone in the area can be fed into the system and matched with photographs of wanted lists, court records, and even social networks.

    It does not take a wild imagination to come up with sinister applications in this field too; for example authoritarian regimes able to tag and identify participants in street protests. Kabakov and Kukharenko said they had not received an approach from Russia’s FSB security service, but “if the FSB were to get in touch, of course we’d listen to any offers they had”…”

    Russia’s biggest bank testing biometric security measures

    May 29, 2016

    “…In an interview with Izvestia newspaper, a Sberbank spokesperson said that the voice recognition service will be offered to all the clients throughout Russia, and limited testing is already underway in Moscow. The bank also emphasized that the technology can identify if a person is calling under duress or when fraudsters steal customer information.
    According to media reports, Sberbank is actively buying ATMs with biometrics technology for customer authentication and that when the bank launches its new platform in 2018, the use of bank cards as a payment instrument will decline sharply…”

    As for the Russian passport:

    “…Russian biometric passports were introduced in 2006. As of 2015, they cost 3500 rubles (approximately USD50) and use printed data, photo and fingerprints and are BAC-encrypted.[106] Biometric passports issued after 1 March 2010 are valid for 10 years. Russian biometric passports are currently issued within Russia and in all of its consulates.

    From 1 January 2015, the Government of Russia has issued passports which contain fingerprints…”

  38. Camille says:


    Peru: 1.6 million biometric passports to be issued over three-year period


    Leading the Way in Latin America – the Story Behind Uruguay’s New eID Card


    Chile raises the bar in Latin America with over 10 million ID cards


    Biometric Voter ID Solution National Electoral Court of Bolivia

    Bolivia imposes biometric census on foreigners after San Matias crimes

    Paraguay, Mexico, Brazil

    Stamping Out Passport

  39. janet.j says:

    Well not sure if this is exactly pertaining to the request for likes and comments, but Texas Instruments TI I noticed was a bit creeper with their biometrics, there are so many but I just picked up a couple that seemed interesting. If any other find some please share, it’s a huge site. – health stalker steering wheel. (and a convenient section or order samples and or buy)

    This TI PDF has a wealth of info such as
    End of page 3 as you have already discussed “UID program, which began in 2009” I guess I thought it was more recent than 2009.
    Also at the end of page 3 “The Department of Homeland Security has instituted the Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT)”
    Beginning of Page 4 “the Federal Bureau of Investigation established the Biometric Center of Excellence in 2007, a program for exploring and advancing the use of new and enhanced biometric technologies and capabilities for integration into operations.”

    The TI, thanks FBI thanks Home, I guess it is time to find out what the “Biometric Center of Excellence” is 

  40. phreedomphile says:

    From Wiki: Countries applying biometrics. Not already on the list above is Brazil, Gambia, Italy*, Norway, and Tanzania* – (*sparse information)

    Albania: “The Letërnjoftimi is an electronic biometric ID card, compulsory upon 16 years old.”

    Saudi Arabia biometric border security screening

    Kuwait to collect biometric DNA samples on all visitors

    Biometric Airport Security Debuts in China

    Biometric screening in China (general description; scary!)

  41. nosoapradio says:

    Don’t know if somebody already posted this link but certainly interesting stuff here:

    -FBI opens biometrics facility in Clarksburg

    “In another top story this week, FireEye have developed a new spoofing method for acquiring fingerprints from Android smartphone models embedded with biometric sensors such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One Max”.

    -FireEye uncovers flaw in Android fingerprint smartphones
    -Lumia smartphones to feature iris and facial recognition

    • nosoapradio says:

      Well, forgive me, link a bit dated actually: last August…

      but with all of the other great links posted on this board it helps give the big picturee that can not be denied now…and the sudden alacrity of it all…

      It’s a blitzkrieg. Even for those who’ve been paying attention I’d imagine…

      Truly an eye-opening exercise this collective “open investigation”…

  42. Camille says:

    “The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a UN specialized agency, established by States in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention).”

    “ICAO TRIP – The MRTD (machine-readable travel document) field has been rapidly evolving into the broader global agenda of traveller identification management”

    They are open about their work on biometrics in their publication News and Features on the ICAO Traveller Identification Programme

    Vol. 11 – No. 2 – Assured Identification 11/2/16

    Vol. 10 – No. 3 – Building Trust by uniquely identifying individuals 11/3/15

    Vol. 10 – No. 1 – Passport Control 11/1/15

    there are more issues available

  43. phreedomphile says:

    Argentina: “In…2011, Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner issued an executive decree ordering the creation of the Federal System of Biometric Identification (SIBIOS), a new centralized, nation-wide biometric ID service. …the SIBIOS will be fully “integrated” with existing ID card databases, which, aside from biometric identifiers, include an individuals’ digital image, civil status, blood type, and key background information collected since her birth and across the various life stages.”

    Cuba: Began issuing biometric ID cards in 2015 “it will enable future inclusion of voice data, eye and DNA, and may be used to arrange ATM, access control and others.”

    more on Bolivia:
    2012 Bolivia will use biometrics to increase security measures at its border crossings. The Latin American country has inked an agreement with Cuba to establish a biometric system that will identify everyone who enters the country at an established port of entry.

    [Overall trend in Latin America: Biometrics and the Creep of Latin America’s Surveillance State

    Russia: 2015 introduced biometric ID cards

    Singapore: 2016, introducing iris scans at land and sea checkpoints for identity verification; Jan 1 2017 will begin collecting iris scans of citizens to add to its database

    Thailand: National biometric IDs introduced in 2005. In 2016 “Thailand calls for mandatory online fingerprint ID system for mobile SIM card registration”

    Turkey: 2016 begins distribution of biometric smart cards.

    Pakistan: Smart national ID card introduced in 2012; merges with payments 2017

    Note: last example of a fusing of Pakistan’s national biometric smart card ID with a payment system illustrates a growing trend of the hybrid smart card, introduced in cities or nations, that either starts out as an ID and adds a payment function or more often the other way around, starts as a convenient way to pay for mass transit and morphs into a biometric smart card ID with wide usage.

    Wiki list of Smart Cards

    Thanks for the prod to think about the big pic, James. The question seems to be “Is there any nation not going the biometric identification route?”. Maybe N. Korea. Guess it won’t be long before they’re assimilated into the global gulag too.

  44. phreedomphile says:

    Sorry, re-posting additional nations in 2 parts. Last reply apparently too long, error posting.

    Argentina: “In…2011, Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner issued an executive decree ordering the creation of the Federal System of Biometric Identification (SIBIOS), a new centralized, nation-wide biometric ID service. …the SIBIOS will be fully “integrated” with existing ID card databases, which, aside from biometric identifiers, include an individuals’ digital image, civil status, blood type, and key background information collected since her birth and across the various life stages.”

    Cuba: Began issuing biometric ID cards in 2015 “it will enable future inclusion of voice data, eye and DNA, and may be used to arrange ATM, access control and others.”

    more on Bolivia:
    2012 Bolivia will use biometrics to increase security measures at its border crossings. The Latin American country has inked an agreement with Cuba to establish a biometric system that will identify everyone who enters the country at an established port of entry.

    [Overall trend in Latin America: Biometrics and the Creep of Latin America’s Surveillance State

  45. phreedomphile says:

    Pakistan: Smart national ID card introduced in 2012; merges with payments 2017

    Note: last example of a fusing of Pakistan’s national biometric smart card ID with a payment system is consistent with a growing trend of the hybrid smart card, introduced in cities or nations, that either starts out as an ID and adds a payment function or more often the other way around, starts as a convenient way to pay for mass transit and morphs into a biometric smart card ID with wide usage.

    Wiki list of Smart Cards

    Thanks for the prod to think about the big pic, James. The question seems to be “Is there any nation not going the biometric identification route?”. Maybe N. Korea?

  46. MaryD says:


    Zambia: Biometric NRCs to be used in 2016 elections

  47. MaryD says:

    The (Sub-Sahara African Network) SUSAN

  48. MaryD says:


    ImageWare Systems and Aruba Deliver Biometric Security for Enhanced Network and App Defense
    Integrated Solution Enables Seamless, Multi-Factor Authentication with Enhanced Protection

  49. MaryD says:


    VFS Global manages one visa application centre (VAC) for UK Visas and Immigration in Bermuda where you can submit your documents and your required biometric data to support your UK visa application.

  50. buy ganio says:


    Biometric passports are being issued since 2010. Siemens won the public tender. See:

  51. miadonis says:


    This mini-documentary video was released last week by Arirang TV. It provides an interesting look at cutting edge biometric technologies being rolled out across South Korea.

    Essential viewing.

    Title: “Project-K(Ep.12) Biometric Identification _ Full Episode”

    Source: Arirang TV


  52. kodiak says:

    Hy James!
    Slovenia began issuing second-generation biometric passports in 2009.

  53. MaryD says:


    Ambassador Olson’s Remarks on Afghanistan at the Atlantic Council

    June 21, 2016

    Since January 1, 2015, Resolute Support advisors – men and women, soldiers and civilians from many different nations – have been working every day with their Afghan counterparts, including the Defense and Interior Ministers themselves and their senior officers. The cooperation has jump-started effective processes for managing the complexities of large bureaucracies.

    The progress has been substantial. In 2015, for the first time, the Ministries of Defense and Interior produced their own programs of requirements and budgets. They prioritized and made difficult trade-offs in recognition that international assistance will not continue indefinitely. “Nice to have” thinking is being replaced by a focus on what is essential to the mission.

    Both ministries are also improving their human resource management systems. They have introduced biometric ID cards, transitioned from paper-based recordkeeping to electronic systems with more robust checks and balances, and implemented electronic funds transfer to pay salaries.

  54. MaryD says:


    Afghanistan planning biometric SIM system
    22 August 2016 14:40 GMT

  55. obrient says:

    Hi James
    I am not sure if Trinidad and Tobago has been added already to your list, but they were added to the EU visa waiver program and now all passports issued since 2012 are biometric .


  56. Camille says:


    “Establish a clean, complete, permanent and updated list of voters through the mandatory taking of photograph, fingerprints and signature (biometrics) in the registration process”

  57. Camille says:


    “The Bahamas Electronic Passport will use the digital image of the passport photograph as the biometric identifier that will be used with face recognition technology and finger printing, to verify the identity of the passport bearer.”

  58. Camille says:


    “The National Identity Register Act, 2008 (Act 750) was also passed to give authorisation for collection of personal and biometric data and to ensure the protection of privacy and personal information of enrollees.”

    “Ghana’s opposition Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has said the incoming government controlled by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration must enable the National Identification Authority to deploy a nationwide system by 2018.”

  59. rueckl1b says:

    In Germany we got automatic Border Control „EasyPass“ introduced in 2014 at all international airports.
    „EasyPass“ is based on the biometric facial data stored on a chip embedded in the passport and a face scanner system.

    Here is how it works:
    Video zu “flughafen MUC automatische passkontrolle”

    Düsseldorf Airport DUS:

    It ia also available in Frankfurt FRA

    and München MUC…/passkontrolle-an-flughaefen-ganz-mit-der-ruhe-1.2225060

  60. rueckl1b says:

    A bit off topic, but also relevant in this context since these are biometric data of your car.
    Numberplate scanners!
    A problem you do not have at Japan’s borders 🙂

    Germany plans to introduce scanners at all mayor border-crossings in 2017:

    Denmark already got them installed since 2016…/daenemark-ab-maerz-wird-jedes-auto-an-der-grenze-digital-erfasst-id12777311.html

    The Netherlands got them installed since 2012

  61. rueckl1b says:

    On Visa application for India a biometric photo needs to be supplied.
    At the border of the country (in my case at the airport) a photo is taken and stored.

  62. Camille says:

    Republic of Djibouti

    The Imprimerie Nationale Group to support the Republic of Djibouti in the modernization of their ID documents and their issuance process

  63. Camille says:


    “Why do I need to provide my biometrics?
    Your given biometrics (facial image and fingerprints) are necessary to perform the background check and to confirm the validity of your given data.”

    Estonia takes the plunge

    “There is one place where this cyberdream is already reality. Secure, authenticated identity is the birthright of every Estonian: before a newborn even arrives home, the hospital will have issued a digital birth certificate and his health insurance will have been started automatically. All residents of the small Baltic state aged 15 or over have electronic ID cards, which are used in health care, electronic banking and shopping, to sign contracts and encrypt e-mail, as tram tickets, and much more besides—even to vote.”

    National identity card for Australians? Digital government lessons from Estonia

    “The push towards digitalisation in Estonia began in the early 1990s  after Estonia regained its independence when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.”

    About the Open Estonia Foundation

    “The Open Estonia Foundation, established on 19th April 1990 with the support of philanthropist George Soros”

    The Success of Digital Identities in Estonia Shine Light On What Is Possible Through Blockchain Technology

    • Camille says:

      Estonia freezes resident ID cards due to security flaw

      “According to the ID program’s managing director, though, there are “still no known incidents of an Estonian digital ID card being misused.” Even so, officials still decided to suspend residents’ cards, since the threat has recently been elevated. Those who were quick enough to authenticate their identities with the Smart-ID app before their certificates were suspended can still use the country’s online services.”

  64. james.s says:

    I see you noted that, “Australia is about to lead us into a Brave New World with a world first: The DIBP is going to introduce the first “self-processing system” for travelers at Australian airports later this year using biometric details instead of a passport.”

    This is not entirely true, in that it has already happened. Taiwan currently has a system like this in place where locals with passports (or foreigners with residency permits) can self-process themselves through immigration at the airport. It requires a scanning of one’s passport/residency card, fingerprint scans and facial recognition.

    Of course all those going through immigration normally are still subject to the same scans. What Taiwan is doing with all the data they collect is anyone’s guess, but their close tie to the USA speaks for itself.


    I dared to ask someone at immigration once why they needed my fingerprints and I was threatened (probably not legally) with being detained and removed from my flight.

  65. reflector says:


    jeffrey tucker of was just speaking at anarchapulo today, says that he was required to do an iris scan flying to mexico. write-up about it here:

    speaking of mexico:
    i was at the CIBanco in acapulco to get some dollars converted to pesos, apparently now they require a scan of your index finger, in addition to your passport. i went along with it as i knew that my fingerprints are already “in the system”.

  66. scpat says:

    September 12th, 2017
    Apple iPhone X adopts facial recognition and OLED screen; to be released for sale November 3rd, 2017.

    “The iPhone X – which is referred to as “ten” – uses a facial recognition system to recognise its owner rather than a fingerprint-based one.”

    “one expert said users might still be concerned the handset had no fingerprint sensor as an alternative.”

  67. Camille says:

    EU votes to create gigantic biometrics database
    April 22, 2019

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