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World's Largest Biometric Database

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the somebody-call-guinness dept.

Security 117

An anonymous reader writes "In the last two years, over 200 million Indian nationals have had their fingerprints and photographs taken and irises scanned, and given a unique 12-digit number that should identify them everywhere and to everyone. This is only the beginning, and the goal is to do the same with the entire population (1.2 billion), so that poorer Indians can finally prove their existence and identity when needed for getting documents, getting help from the government, and opening bank and other accounts. This immense task needs a database that can contain over 12 billion fingerprints, 1.2 billion photographs, and 2.4 billion iris scans, can be queried from diverse devices connected to the Internet, and can return accurate results in an extremely short time."

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117 comments

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And people in the US bitch about a national ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235155)

Your social security number just won't cut it in the future.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235685)

DMV's should be centralized under the Federal government and drivers licenses should be issued by the Federal government. Also, driving requirements should be much much more stringent.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235743)

Government should come to your house and spank you every day. You should have to pay a fee.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235903)

I already have this service, although it's not the government.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236259)

Typical Randroid. You've got yours, screw everyone else.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235825)

No, that is a state not federal issue. The federal government is granted no power over such things by the US Constitution.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (3, Funny)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236197)

The federal government is granted no power over such things by the US Constitution.

When has that ever stopped them before?

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236313)

That's why the poster said "should be", denoting both that this is not the way things currently are and that a change would be needed to make it so.

Honestly, the States would be better off to surrender this privilege in the form of some National ID Act, but there are still far too many people who, by an large based upon an ignorantly twisted version of a particular holy book, oppose such a measure out-of-hand, without considering its merits. Democracy allows for even the obscenely stupid to get their way (a concept that I am personally torn on), so we'll keep doing things bass-ackwards until these folks die off.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236755)

It is a federal issue because cars cross state lines and therefore affect interstate commerce. Thus it should be federal jurisdiction under the purview of the commerce clause.

The US federal government has twisted the commerce clause into a pretzel to augment its powers in other areas. This would seem to be a slam dunk.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237367)

Which is itself a stupid argument since it imposes an artificial constraint on proper action based on a skewed interpretation of the Constitution, which even though it does not specifically mention a concept which its authors could scarcely conceive, does clearly recognize the need for some degree of uniformity.

That's why Naturalization and bankruptcies are uniform, for example. How big a stretch is this?

But OK, let's play your silly game. First option, make it part of the required Census. Helps to identify the people being counted, don't you think?

Not satisfied? Declare everybody part of the militia. As part of the organization of such, require the provision of ID.

No good? Fine, we'll hold a constituitional convention, revise the whole thing, and put it in, as well a as scrap the electoral college.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236547)

What happened to passports, drivers licenses, birth certificates, etc?

This seems unnecessary, expensive, and dumb.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236649)

Everything but birth certificate requires a birth certificate in order to get. A birth certificate wasn't always issued and when it is, it is a local document (local to city or county of birth) and not the easiest to get to if you don't live there any more.

Re:And people in the US bitch about a national ID (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235705)

Yes, you shouldn't complain about something bad if there is an even worse possibility. That's like, you know, so totally true. *flips hair*

Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235223)

How long before someone does something insanely stupid and allows access to this DB posting all of its information on Pastebin? Well I for one will begin working on security platform for this and I will call it DIPSHIT "Deployable Indian Protection Services for Holistical Information Technology"

sil at infiltrated dot net

Re:Seriously... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235321)

A few ideas come to mind:

1. Pastebin doesn't have anywhere near the space needed to paste these
2. Pastebin doesn't have fingerprint, iris, faecal sample support (yet?)
3. Even if you did expose the entire database, it would still be useless without write access to alter the data - so you can claim to be somebody else.

Number 3 is also a case for every nation that issues ID cards or biometric passports today. But only the government has any access to the database. I.e. it's not sold to 3rd parties for marketing purposes (like the electoral roll is in the UK for example). You then use government issued documents to prove your identity to everybody else. And there's also a chance for corrupt officials to mess your stuff up, no matter how high- or low-tech the identity system is.

(another AC)

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235583)

With a sufficiently large database, you could find a pair of people that have one or more features that are identical within the tolerances of the sensors used.

Fingerprint scanners rarely store the entire print, only capturing elements that are assumed(but not proven) to be distinguishing. Ditto iris and retina scanners. Worse(or better), many of them store a hash of that data, so people with dissimilar features may scan as identical.

If you can't think of the use of finding someone who has an index finger that matches your pinky, you aren't trying very hard.

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236285)

Nice one. You work for the US government acronym office or something?

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238211)

Shouldn't that be "dot forehead"?

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235227)

"...can return accurate results in an extremely short time."

My 25 year old dBASE application also needs only a fraction of a second to retrieve a record from hundreds of millions of records.
It's called an Index. Any database can do it, it's not rocket science.

Re:Really? (1)

ghn (2469034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235297)

And I suppose your dBase application can do an index on a HUMAN_IRIS(2) field type?

Re:Really? (-1, Offtopic)

littlescrump (2656307) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235439)

About eight months ago, I was searching around the internet to find out why my computer was running so slowly (it normally ran quite fast, but had gradually gotten slower over time). After a few minutes, I found a piece of software claiming that it could speed up my PC and make it run like new again. Being that I was dangerously ignorant about technology in general (even more so than I am now), I downloaded the software and began the installation. Mere moments after doing so, my desktop background image was changed and warnings that appeared to originate from Windows appeared all over the screen telling me to buy strange software from an unknown company in order to remove a virus it claimed I had.

I may have been ignorant about technology, but I wasn't that naive. I immediately concluded that the software I'd downloaded was, in fact, a virus. In my rage, I broke numerous objects, punched a hole in the wall, and cursed the world at the top of my lungs. I eventually calmed down, cleared my head, and realized that the only remedy for this problem was a carefully thought out plan. After a few moments of pondering about how to handle this situation, I decided that since I barely knew how to properly handle a computer, I should turn it over to the professionals and let them fix the issue.

Soon after making the decision, I drove to a local computer repair shop and entered the building with my computer in hand. They greeted me with a smile and stayed attentive the entire time that I was explaining the problem to them. They laughed as if they'd heard it all before, told me that I'm not the only one who has trouble operating computers, and then gave me a date for when the computer would be fixed. Not only had they told me that the computer would be completely repaired in at most two days, but the price for their services was surprisingly low, and to top it all off, they even gave me advice for how to avoid viruses in the future! I left the building feeling confident in my decision to seek professional help and satisfied knowing that such kind-hearted people were the ones doing the job.

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I was positively dismayed upon entering the building. The inside of the computer repair shop looked nothing like the image from my memories. There were broken computer parts scattered throughout the room, ceiling tiles all over the floor, blood splattered in every direction I looked, and even a human toe on the ground. After processing this disturbing information, I began panicking and frantically looking around for my computer. I spotted an employee covered in blood sitting up against the wall, and noticed that his wrists had been slashed open. Thinking quickly, I ran up to him, grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, shook him around, and began screaming, "Where is it!? Where is my computer!?" After a moment of silence, he passed away, completely shattering my expectations. Such a thing! "What a meaningless individual," I thought.

Enraged, I tore the building up even further than it already had been in my desperate search for my computer. Eventually I discovered a door leading to an area that was normally only accessible to employees. I entered without hesitation and was met with a long, skinny hallway that a single person would have trouble moving about freely in. I proceeded down the dark hallway and bumped into the body of an employee hanging from a rope tied to something on the ceiling. I screamed, "Not only do you people have the gall to allow my computer to be endangered, but even in death you intend to block my path!?" After finally managing to push aside the worthless obstacle, I traveled down the hallway and came to a small black door. I entered without a moment's notice, and in the middle of the dark and dreary room, I spotted my computer; it was completely unharmed. With a sigh of relief, I picked it up, left the building, and drove home as if nothing of importance had occurred there.

Upon returning home and hooking up the computer (whilst wearing a cheerful expression the entire time), I, to my horror, discovered that the computer hadn't been repaired. There was nothing in the world that could have contained my fiery anger at that point. I broke almost every single one of my possessions, smashed all the windows on my house, physically abused my family, and then drove back to the computer repair shop to defile the dead lumps of meat that had failed to carry out the task I had given them. After realizing that I shouldn't be meaninglessly wasting my time with such worthless pieces of trash, I remembered the piece of software that I'd discovered earlier. With renewed confidence, I blissfully visited the local library, downloaded the software, and took it home to install on my computer.

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Re:Really? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235477)

Cool story, bro!

Re:Really? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235533)

Uh, I don't think so.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236399)

Natalie Portman sitting naked in a bowl of hot grits.

Picture it, motherfucker. There was a time the post would have been modded funny. There was a time when reading slashdot at -1 WAS THE ONLY PROPER WAY TO READ SLASHDOT. Now you people just don't welcome the humor that made slashdot what it is (or was).

Did you even bother to skim this fine troll?

"I was positively dismayed upon entering the building. The inside of the computer repair shop looked nothing like the image from my memories. There were broken computer parts scattered throughout the room, ceiling tiles all over the floor, blood splattered in every direction I looked, and even a human toe on the ground. After processing this disturbing information, I began panicking and frantically looking around for my computer. I spotted an employee covered in blood sitting up against the wall, and noticed that his wrists had been slashed open. Thinking quickly, I ran up to him, grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, shook him around, and began screaming, "Where is it!? Where is my computer!?" After a moment of silence, he passed away, completely shattering my expectations. Such a thing! "What a meaningless individual," I thought."

Re:Really? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236493)

No there wasn't. My number is lower than yours is. If you want something to be modded funny, it actually has to be funny and NOT take too damned long to read.

I have to agree on one thing though, many more people will MOD you down just for disagreeing, which I don't quite think is too cool. In any case the "Funny" MOD does not really help your karma at all.

And yes I do read at -1 and yes I read both of them that we slightly different. We'll it was a good troll. You got a reply at least.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236623)

My UID was lower before I stopped using the account. There is no intelligent discussion on this site, and just a bunch of nerds trying to improve their nerd score. Or you call it "karma". You're one of them, because you mention it as if it is something that matters.

Slashdot is an echo chamber of groupthink. The only reason I come here is to read the occasional informative comment and make posts to piss off humorless jackasses like yourself.

Nothing more pathetic than someone that takes an internet forum and the comments seriously. Not talking about you here, but some people actually get offended to read the word nigger on this site. Hah!

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237791)

I think there is something more pathetic - the person whose life is so empty that they can only find pleasure through the emotions of others.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235465)

"And I suppose your dBase application can do an index on a HUMAN_IRIS(2) field type?"

Sure, it had Binary Large Objects from the beginning. You could throw anything at it.

Re:Really? (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238973)

This is not an index.

Sure anyone can tell you that 0001010101010101001 = 0001010101010101001

Now what if I tell you that 110010101001010101 has an extremely high score towards being the same person.

Your lil dBase index is currently scratching its head.

Re:Really? (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235479)

A "HUMAN_IRIS" is just a 2048 bits field. Read about IrisCode [cam.ac.uk] (pdf warning) some time. It's a really elegant solution.

Re:Really? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235489)

I was going to suggest something along the lines of saying hashing the data, but then I realized you want to scan someone's iris and then compare that scan in the database.... Hashing won't work here. DCT would likely work, but is sloooow, the more I think about it the more I realise this is not an easy problem, though really it is if you change the problem:

Every person gets a GUID. They present the GUID as their ID. You query the DB for the GUID and submit their iris scan as the authenticator. You don't need to parse the iris data for a lookup (that is what the GUID is for, then you just do a DCT on the scan you took and the stored scan in the DB. if the result is .90 or better it is likely your person.
-nB

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

vbraga (228124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235549)

Iris scanning actually works in a way similar to a hash. You take the iris picture and find a 2048-bit number, the "IrisCode" or wherever you wanna call it. If you want to make a comparison, then you find the IrisCode for the other picture, and compute the Hamming distance between two. The threshold for match or no-match is actually a function of the database size. (I read the paper a while ago and I'm probably made a few mistakes describing it, but it works along those lines). John Daugman [cam.ac.uk] site has more details.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237225)

You are living in the 90s. The hash was made. Yes it's that quick. Even faster.

Re:Really? (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238469)

. if the result is .90 or better it is likely your person.

So what you're saying is, with a copy of the database I could impersonate 1 in 10 people in India. How... very... secure. Point of note: People's irises change over time, unlike fingerprints.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236411)

I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be more than one single point of access for the database. Can your dBASE application handle dozens of queries per second from each of tens of thousands of terminals? No, it cannot, so shut up.

An application like this will require multiple local cache servers to proxy, queue, and prioritize queries... and that's just to keep the DB from being overwhelmed. You also have to consider redundancy, backup, continuation of operations, and support. How much of that does your 25-year-old application cover?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236847)

You missed the point completely, moron.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236987)

You failed to articulate your point in any meaningful fashion, feces-face.

12 billion finger prints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235237)

12 Billion finger prints? That would make sense that the lean efficient government of India decides that a single finger print, or even five fingers are not enough to identify you, but instead all 10 fingers must be identified and stored. That way they can be 10 times sure that your finger print belongs to you. Same with the iris scans, lets scan two eyes across 1.2 billion people instead of just one.

With the decreasing hard drive prices, I'm truly surprised I didn't see 12 billion toe prints!

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

realilskater (76030) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235295)

Surely having a record of all digits and eyes ensures that a person can be identified even if they lose a finger or an eye.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235417)

Plus when they start finding duplicate fingerprints, they're going to need to check more than one finger.

This is a good idea in a way because it should resolve the question of how common fingerprint matches really are.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (3, Informative)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235551)

This is a good idea in a way because it should resolve the question of how common fingerprint matches really are.

This is the best piece of text Slashdot had to offer in quite a while. High five, insightful internet person!

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235631)

Indeed, fingerprints are not unique.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236909)

Most searching is done with 4 or 6 fingerprints. Index fingers plus thumbs for the 4 print systems add in middle fingers for the 6 print systems. Those fingers tend to have the most minutiae points. When they records are captured you know where the finger positions are so you only search those finger positions. Iris searching is way way faster then fingerprints, so you search all of the records with iris then take the top 10% or so and search those fingerprints. That way you will not have to spend so much time searching fingerprints.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238749)

This was covered before. IIRC every 6000 or so prints you'd get one match. Or some really low number.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239003)

Actually Fingerprint is only a secondary search in India. Iris is the primary form of identification. They actually do face as well although it's not really used.

Indian's have a big problem with missing fingerprints (lots of manual labor leads to worn off prints) so in their case very much yes Fingerprint is not a good identifier.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239609)

Yes...however, there is no incentive to discuss the idea that fingerprints may not be all that unique. The company that makes biometric equipment certainly won't announce it, as that would affect their business model. The database owner (the government) has no incentive because it would erode the benefits of the system/make them look stupid.

Likewise, the FBI has a massive fingerprint database but they can't say anything about identical matches because it would erode the value of the database where it it is most useful--in courts of law.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235561)

Usually it's all 10 fingers and palms too so 12 x 1 billion people = 12 billion prints. Easy.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

GigG (887839) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235861)

Last two times I've been fingerprinted for CCW & work reasons it has been each finger, all 10 fingers (minus thumbs) together and palm of both hands.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235929)

Exactly, but some organizations also use everything including DNA. I'm guessing India is using all 10 digits and both palms to come up with that number. Thumbs are good to have as many prints will be those.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236137)

Thumbs are good to have as many prints will be those.

Thumbs are good to have not just for identification but to allow us to tie our shoelaces more easily and handle knives and forks, etc. Also press the space bar on normal keyboards. Not just thumbs, but opposable thumbs.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236371)

We believe fapping isn't in your top 3. Sure we do.

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236441)

More thumb prints seem to be around crime scenes maybe?

Re:12 billion finger prints? (1)

tzot (834456) | more than 2 years ago | (#40237101)

> I'm guessing India is using all 10 digits and both palms to come up with that number.

Which number they came up with? The 12 billion fingerprints? That is, the (1.2 billion Indians) x (10 fingerprints per person)? That number?

This is hardly news (2)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235253)

Wired had an article running about it already last year http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/08/ff_indiaid/all/1 [wired.com] .

Re:This is hardly news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235299)

Nearly four months ago, I noticed that my internet connection was very sluggish. Eventually getting fed up with it, I began to seek out software that would speed up the gigabits in my router. After an hour of searching, I found what at first appeared to be a very promising piece of software. Not only did it claim it would speed up my internet connection, but that it would overclock my power supply, speed up my gigabits, and remove any viruses from my computer! "This is a fantastic opportunity that I simply can't pass up," I thought. I immediately downloaded the software and began the installation, all the while laughing like a small child. I was highly anticipating a future where the speed of my internet connection would leave everyone else's in the dust.

I was horribly, horribly naive. Immediately upon the completion of the software's installation, various messages popped up on my screen about how I needed to buy software to remove a virus that I wasn't aware I had from a software company I'd never once heard of. The strange software also blocked me from doing anything except buying the software it was advertising. Being that I was a computer whiz (I had taken a computer essentials class in high school that taught me how to use Microsoft Office, and was quite adept at accessing my Facebook account), I was immediately able to conclude that the software I'd downloaded was, in fact, a virus, and that it was slowing down my gigabits at an exponential rate. "I can't let this insanity proceed any further," I thought.

As I was often called a computer genius, I was confident at the time that I could get rid of the virus with my own two hands. I tried numerous things: restarting the computer, pressing random keys on the keyboard, throwing the mouse across the room, and even flipping an orange switch on the back of the tower and turning the computer back on. My efforts were all in vain; the virus persisted, and my gigabits were running slower than ever! "This cannot be! What is this!? I've never once seen such a vicious virus in my entire life!" I was dumbfounded that I, a computer genius, was unable to remove the virus using the methods I described. Upon coming to terms with my failure, I decided to take my computer to a PC repair shop for repair.

I drove to a nearby computer repair shop and entered the building with my computer in hand. The inside of the building was quite large, neat, and organized, and the employees all seemed very kind and knowledgeable. They laughed upon hearing my embarrassing story, and told me that they saw this kind of thing on a daily basis. They then accepted the job, and told me that in the worst case, it'd be fixed in three days from now. I left with a smile, and felt confident in my decision to leave the computer repairs to the experts.

A week later, they still hadn't called back. Visibly angry, I tried calling them countless times, but not a single time did they answer the phone. Their negligence and irresponsibility infuriated me, and sent me into a state of insanity that caused me to punch a gigantic hole in the wall. Being that I would require my computer for work soon, I decided to head over to the computer repair shop to find out exactly what the problem was.

Upon entering the building, I was shocked by the state of its interior; it looked as if a tornado had tore through the entire building! Countless broken computers were scattered all about the floor, desks were flipped over, the walls had holes in them, there was a puddle of blood on the floor, and worst of all, I saw that my computer was sitting in the middle of the room laying on its side! Absolutely unforgivable! I soon noticed one of the employees sitting behind one of the tipped over desks (the one that had previously had the cash register on top of it); he was shaking uncontrollably and sobbing. Despite being furious about my computer being tipped over, seeing him in that state still managed to make me less unforgiving. I decided to ask him what happened.

A few moments passed where the entire room was silent and nothing was said. Eventually, he pointed at my computer and said to me, "The virus... it cannot be stopped! Cannot be stopped! Cannot be stopped!" Realizing that he was trying to tell me that they were unable to repair my computer (the task I'd given them), I flew into a blind fury and beat him senseless. Not caring about what would happen to him any longer, I collected my computer, ignored the bodies of the two other employees that had committed suicide, and left the building. After a few moments of pondering about what to do and clearing my head, I theorized that their failure to repair my computer probably simply meant that they were unqualified to do the job, and decided to take my computer to another computer repair shop.

I repeated that same process about four times before finally giving up. Each time I took it to a PC repair shop, the result was the same: all the employees either went completely insane, or they committed suicide. Not a single person was able to even do so much as damage the virus. I was able to talk some sense into one of the employees that had gone mad and got them to tell me how they were attempting to fix the problem. They told me that they tried everything from reinstalling the operating system to installing another operating system and trying to get rid of the virus on the other one, but absolutely all of it was to no avail. Having seen numerous attempts by professionals to remove the virus end in failure, I managed to delude myself into believing that my first failure was simply a fluke and that I was the only one on the planet qualified to fix the computer. With renewed vigor, I once again took up the frighteningly dangerous task of defeating the evil, nightmarish virus once and for all with my own two hands.

In my attempts to fix the problem, I'd even resorted to buying another computer. However, the virus used its WiFi capabilities to hack into the gigabits of my new computer and infect it. Following each failed attempt, I grew more and more depressed. I had already beaten my wife and children five times in order to relieve some of my stress, but even that (which had become my only pleasure after failing to remove the virus the first time), did nothing for me any longer. That's right: my last remaining pleasure in life had stopped being able to improve my mood, and I had not a single thing left that I cared about. I sank into a bottomless ocean of depression, barricaded myself in my room, and cried myself to sleep for days on end. Overcome with insanity, vengefulness, and despair, there is not a single doubt that if this had continued for much longer, I would have committed suicide.

One day, it suddenly happened: while I was right in the middle of habitually crying myself to sleep in the middle of the day, I heard a thunderous roar outside, followed by the sound of a large number of people screaming. When I peered outside my window to find out what all the commotion was about, the scene before me closely resembled that of a God descending from the heavens themselves! I gazed in awe at the godlike figure that was descending from the heavens, and so did the dozens of individuals that had gathered in my backyard. For a few moments, everyone was speechless. Then, they started shouting predictions about what they thought the figure was. "Is it a bird!?" "Is it a plane!?" But, despite not ever having seen it before, I knew just how inaccurate their predictions were, and began to speak the name of the heroic figure.

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My wife's response? "MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] is outstanding! My husband's computer is running faster than ever! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] came through with flying colours where no one else could! MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] totally cleaned up my husband's system, and increased his speed! I highly, highly recommend that you use MyCleanPC [mycleanpc.com] !"

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Re:This is hardly news (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235585)

Just stay on topic for once.

Re:This is hardly news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235565)

Yeah, but "Olds for Nerds, Stuff that Matters" doesn't have the same ring to it.

Re:This is hardly news (1)

lordbyron (38382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40240167)

What is news is that we have crossed the 200 million number and should by the end of next year cross the 600 million unique person enrolled. It has been a fun project to be a part of...

"...connected to the Internet..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235291)

That can only go wrong.

On the plus side... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235307)

When the system breaks, at least getting connected to tech support in India won't seem like such a bad thing...

Re:On the plus side... (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235393)

When the system breaks, at least getting connected to tech support in India won't seem like such a bad thing...

They will probably outsource tech support to Liberia or Sierra Leone.

Re:On the plus side... (1, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235691)

Or worse, Kentucky.

Imagine how frustrating it will be for those indians as they listen to barely literate hillfolk stutter out stilted strongly accented hindi read from cue cards.

Re:On the plus side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236579)

At least we Kentucky folk know how to use capital letters.

I hope they have to call customer support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235323)

I can only hope that they have to call a customer support number, be given a case ID number on a crap VOIP connection by someone that doesn't speak their language natively well enough to communicate.

Iris scans change (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235337)

http://www.theverge.com/2012/5/28/3046726/iris-patterns-change-over-time-research

"The biometric iris recognition scans used at many security checkpoints may be less reliable than previously believed, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have found. "

Re:Iris scans change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236149)

I was about to point that out. Also note that hundreds of millions of the poorest lead outdoorsy toil-in-the-field type lives. That easily means damaged fingerprints... if the fingers, hands, arms are still there, that is. And photographs? They likely won't age well, so expect lots of false positives and false negatives in detection there also.

A common problem there, too, are shenanigans like, oh, relatives lusting for your land might have you declared dead even if you're not already. Biometrics is supposed to help with that, but as so often with simple application of high-tech on some people problem (lots of corruption as everyone there is dirt poor) this might easily make it worse. Hey, maybe the machine won't recognise you. And because it's deemed to be fool proof, hah, you really don't exist any longer. You have even less ways to get it fixed than you had before, and that was living hell already.

So I say: Biometrics? Let The Fun Begin.

99.5% Accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235361)

That half a percentage point still gives 6 million possibles I would expect to see a few more 9's tacked on after the decimal point to make it usably accurate.

UIDAI Website (4, Informative)

romit_icarus (613431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235399)

For those who are interested to know more, here is their quite detailed website http://uidai.gov.in/ [uidai.gov.in] More than anything else, it conveys the logistical and bureaucratical complexity of executing a project of this dimension across a country like India.

Twelve digits, eh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235431)

They'll run out in a few centuries, and then what?

Next time, go hexadecimal from the start.

Re:Twelve digits, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237861)

Because the systems we put in place in 1700 are still around and going obsolete on us? This system is unlikely to be relevant at all in 300 years.

Re:Twelve digits, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237925)

Actually, in some cases, yes.

See national boundaries, the US Constitution, various legal codes and more.

I wouldn't be surprised if we're stuck with postal codes too.

I work on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235435)

I work for one of the venders that does the back end searching of the biometrics. It is a very complex project thats for sure.

Re:I work on it (1)

mhajicek (1582795) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235483)

So when the data gets out could it be used to make fake fingerprints and irises?

Re:I work on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235517)

No. All the images get converted to a algorithm. Its a one way conversion, you can not generate a image based off of it.

Re:I work on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237665)

"Converted to an algorithm"? Or more like, oh, run through an algorithm and turned into a hash? Hopefully a collision-resistant one. But have you tried? Your employer? Anyone? Can you tell us just how hard it is to collide fingerprints "converted to an algorithm" like that?

If not, well....

Outsourcing (1)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235451)

Where does India outsource /their/ IT jobs for managing things like this database?

Re:Outsourcing (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235853)

Where does India outsource /their/ IT jobs for managing things like this database?

Erm, the United States. We're the world leaders in the manufacture of sophisticated mass-surveillance and tracking technology. It's our other major export besides financial know-how, bombs, and working-class misery. The NSA is building a data center right now to track every packet of data sent within the borders of this country. And we don't just store biometric hashes -- W're taking complete, high-resolution imagery of our citizens bodies and keeping them on file. The kind of surveillance and tracking we do on our own citizens make this look like a high school science project.

There's no reason to think we wouldn't happily help the corporation of India... er, I mean, the country of India (sorry, I'm American.. it's hard to keep corporations and governments separate).

Mass tracking tech leader since 1939! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236487)

Erm, the United States. We're the world leaders in the manufacture of sophisticated mass-surveillance and tracking technology.

And have been since 1939! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_during_World_War_II#Germany [wikipedia.org]

Re:Outsourcing (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 2 years ago | (#40239043)

To be very specific: The 3 consortiums involved are US, US, FR as far as the tech goes. Each consortium includes a few different companies all of which, I believe, include some local talent for support / logistics and some code.

Re:Outsourcing (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236489)

Typically to the same Indian companies the other companies outsource to

Messed up 3rd world country - needs this! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235497)

India is a messed up 3rd world country with too much corruption and too much of losses to the middlemen. For example, discounted food supplies sent to the poorer sections of the society are misappropriated by the distribution stores. Very small percentage of the poorer population has bank accounts or even an identity card of any sort, or often times even a birth certificate. ( so think of trying to do something in the US without a state id.. or ssn!)

Yes there is a chance that this will get hacked - but this has to be weighed against the good that this will do. The govt plans to create bank accounts directly from these user-ids and directly wire them money, or use it to give out benefits etc. A huge huge deal for a large country with no real social network in place!

No Electrophoreses? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40235915)

What if you get severely burned and then have no irises, fingerprints, and your face looks different? They should be incorporating DNA too.

Re:No Electrophoreses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236145)

What if your dna changes? Use brainwave patterns instead!

Re:No Electrophoreses? (3, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236335)

But what if you change your mind?

Re:No Electrophoreses? (1)

tzot (834456) | more than 2 years ago | (#40237129)

> But what if you change your mind?

Thank $deity I wasn't drinking anything at the time I read your answer.

Re:No Electrophoreses? (1)

Trapick (1163389) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236413)

That happens to few enough people that it's not worth the hundreds of billions of dollars extra to include DNA.

Re:No Electrophoreses? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40236887)

You can bet that is coming once DNA sequencing gets cheap enough. The excuse will no doubt be crime fighting, as the police sometimes have DNA but no match.

No Electrophoreses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40237139)

Well you are in India mind you - not USA where everyone's waiting with bated breath to help you live as a vegetable or in the ICU.

If you are in a blame bad enough to take off your irises and fingerprints, in India, you would be dead, and then cremated or buried. As long as no one else can duplicate your iris and come to the office, we wont be sending you the monthly $30 check.

You in5ensitive clod! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235937)

Re:You in5ensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236141)

The original goatse was a lot more fun.

It's a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235979)

There is no such thing as corruption in India. So I am sure the system is completely secure.

What? You didn't know??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40235989)

Microsoft Access '98 -- BOOM, problem solved

Redmond steps in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236523)

MS Access?

illiteracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40236867)

India has a very high illiteracy rate. Maybe they should tattoo each individual's number on their body, to ensure that it's easy to recall...

Actually, Apple and Google must be closely behind (1, Troll)

cheros (223479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40237379)

Biometrics are not just fingerprints: Apple's Siri and whatever imitation was made available for Android do one thing very well: they export a pristine, digital quality voiceprint with owner details to the US every time they are used.

It's the second largest successful intelligence intercept ever - the first one being WhatsApp and iMessage tapping what was formerly harder-to-get SMS traffic..

Is the number tattooed on their arm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238359)

Seems to be the way things are going - Total Global Fascism

Wondering about how it will be done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40238921)

1200 million encrypted dbase files on a p2p network?

Interesting 10:1:2 ratio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40239113)

Taken from the "12 billion fingerprints, 1.2 billion photographs, and 2.4 billion iris scans" quote. I wonder how they came-up with that ratio, and how many months the government committee spent discussing it.

Only 200 Million... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40240109)

Because why bother with the lower castes
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