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

by | Jan 31, 2017 | Articles | 68 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.

BahamasLast 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.


  1. 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.

    • I’m in good company then : )

  2. 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.”

    • Thanks for the tip, thierry. I’ve added Luxembourg to the list.

    • Thanks for the tip, Camille. Sierra Leone has been added to the list.

  3. Australia

    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.


    • Thanks for the tip, theplanet.myhome. I have added the info to the entry on Australia.

  4. 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?

  5. UK

    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.

    • Thank you for the contribution, Lance. I’ve updated the UK entry.

  6. Thanks for the tip, Pulpo. I’ve added the Finland information to the article.

  7. Thanks for the tips. I’ve added the Netherlands to the list.

  8. 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. Kenya
    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.”

    • Thanks for the info, Camille. Kenya has been added to the list.

  10. Thanks for letting me know about SLDS. According to this:

    And similar assurances I’ve found from Utah and elsewhere, biometric data collection is not a mandatory part of the program and is not being done (in Idaho and Utah, at least). Do you have any link demonstrating biometric data collection in Indiana?

  11. 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:

    • Thank you for the tip, horribilus. New Zealand has been added to the list.

  12. Zimbabwe

    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.”

    • Thank you for the info. Zimbabwe has been added to the list.

  13. Nigeria

    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.”

  14. Thanks for the links. South Korea has been added to the list.

  15. 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.

    • Thanks for the info, RobinHood77. Germany has been added to the list.

  16. 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.

  17. Thanks for the info, nosoapradio. France has been added to the list.

  18. Thanks for the link, GE⊕. I’ve added Switzerland to the list.

  19. 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

  20. Peru

    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

    • Thanks for the links, Camille. I’ve added Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Mexico and Brazil to the article.

  21. 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 

  22. Indeed, that sense of the bigger picture is exactly what this investigation is about. Thanks for noticing!

  23. Thanks for the links, phreedomphile. I have added Albania, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and China to the list.

  24. “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

    • Thanks for the link, Camille. The Philippines has been added to the list.

  25. Bahamas

    “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.”

    • Thanks for the link. The Bahamas has been added to the list.

  26. Thanks for the tip, obrient. There was a surprising amount of biometric ID activity in T&T. It has been added to the list.

  27. Thank you for the tip. Afghanistan has been added to the list.

  28. Ghana

    “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.”

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. INDIA-Visa:
    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.

  32. Gabon

    “the Government had institutionalized the use of biometric data to draw up its voters lists”


    page 6 – “In 2013, approximately 590,000 registered voters were on the voters list – a significant drop from previous voter rolls – following the introduction of biometric registration and elimination of double entries. The voter roll for the August 2016 election includes 628,124 voters.2 After the election, the government of Gabon plans to update its biometric capability and establish a centralized citizen identification system, with a personal identification number (NIP), a new identity card, and automatic voter registration for citizens.”

  33. Estonia

    “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

    • 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.”

  34. 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.

  35. USA

    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”.

  36. 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.”

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