Pakistan’s NADRA introduces iris recognition technology to strengthen biometric verification

Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has introduced the iris recognition system to strengthen the biometric verification system.

The introduction of iris technology marks the beginning of a new era in Pakistan, where individuals’ identity credentials can be captured through the most precise, secure, and hygienic option of iris biometrics.

Phased rollout

The iris recognition system, successfully piloted at NADRA headquarters, has now been implemented at NADRA mega centers located in Blue Area Islamabad, PECO Road Lahore, and DHA Karachi. The phased deployment of this technology will continue across all 700 NADRA registration centers nationwide.

Reliability and accuracy

With its remarkably low false match rates, the iris recognition technique stands out as a highly reliable and accurate option. This automated biometric identification modality captures distinct patterns in a ring-shaped region surrounding the pupil of each eye for identification purposes.

Since iris scanning is conducted using a special infrared camera to read and digitize iris patterns, it is nearly impossible to fake or imitate iris identity. A mathematical algorithm is utilized to convert these intricate patterns into templates for matching.

Enhanced security

Tariq Malik, the chairman of NADRA, unveiled this long-awaited initiative and emphasized that the deployment of premium identity authentication through state-of-the-art recognition technology offers precise, secure, and efficient identity verification for citizens.

The introduction of the Iris Recognition system represents a significant advancement in securing citizens’ identities, with their irises becoming the fortress of their digital existence.

Malik highlighted that since no two irises are the same, this verification modality is not susceptible to identity duplication and theft.

“Whether it’s government services, financial institutions, or any other industry that deals with sensitive information, identity verification is a critical aspect of ensuring the integrity and security of our systems. With the IRIS biometric technology, we are taking a major step forward in streamlining and fortifying the processes of secure identification,” the NADRA chairman stated.

Existing biometric methods

Iris recognition adds a third biometric modality to NADRA’s biometric verification system. NADRA has been using fingerprint and facial matching for deduplication with reliable accuracy. The addition of iris recognition will not only further enhance their unique identity issuance system but will also enable the biometric identification of children. The combination of facial, iris, and fingerprint matching will complement each other, ensuring immutable identity provision and more accurate verification by NADRA.

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