The Unique Identification Authority of India expects the cost of the eye scan process for issuing unique identification to be 30-50 per cent less than fingerprint matching software.
In a status paper on iris scan issued on Wednesday, the authority the cost of the scan had been a concern.
“However, the current high prices for iris technology are a result of low volume and its use in cost insensitive security applications. Considering the large demand that will come from India for iris devices and software, the UIDAI expects the prices for devices and software to fall rapidly,” the paper said.
About the risk of vendor lock, the paper said the UID authority had evaluated the available choices among iris technology vendors and concluded that a lock-in could be avoided.
It said the authority would adopt a three-pronged approach to avoid lock-in. It said that to ensure uniqueness, the UIDAI has to minimise the false acceptance rate (FAR) in its biometrics.
“However, the Biometrics Committee (that was set up to suggest the kind of biometrics needed) noted that the approach using fingerprint biometrics alone, in addition to face, will meet two challenges within the Indian environment.” The varying quality of fingerprints, particularly among the poor, and the scale of database, at 1.2 billion records are the two problems it faces. “Both these could make uniqueness in biometrics difficult to achieve,” it said.
The paper said the risk that fingerprinting may not be sufficient to ensure uniqueness cannot be ignored. “The logistics of going back and re-enrolling residents, in case the biometrics set is insufficient, would be unacceptable,” it said.