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Afghanistan

4

34

Yes

No

Algeria

41

280

YES

No

Argentina

2

129

Yes

No

Bangladesh

5

49

Yes

No

Cambodia

8

37

Yes

Yes

Colombia

90

400

Yes

No

Egypt

22

115

Yes

Yes

France

31

37

Yes

No

India

46

520

No

No

Indonesia

14

250

Yes

No

Israel

227

-

Yes

Yes

Kenya

3

267

Yes

No

Morocco

-

-

Yes

No

Nigeria

2

171

Yes

Yes

Pakistan

68

420

Yes

Yes

Palestine

240

-

Yes

No

Peru

31

40

Yes

Yes

Philippines

38

113

No

No

Russia

32

620

Yes

Yes

Saudi Arabia

10

30

No

No

Spain

51

250

Yes

Yes

Sri Lanka

27

440

Yes

No

Turkey

57

85

Yes

No

Uganda

12

42

No

No

United States

13

3650

No

No

As mentioned above, terrorism has been used as an overarching reason for the recent revival of ID proposals in several countries. In 2004, Privacy International showed that of the 25 countries that were affected by terrorism since 1986, 80 percent have identity cards, a third of which employ biometrics (see Table 4).

Biometrics is a state of the art technology that uses physical characteristics of persons as a means of identification.

Developed and used only in the last fifteen years, biometrics has been used for three purposes: for identity verification, identity discovery and identity exclusion (CRS, 2005: 2). Unlike traditional identification cards with photographs of the bearer, biometrics uses the physical characteristics of a person such as retina, fingerprint or voice.

Biometric technology is not without its limitations. Aside from the staggering cost, there are conditions that can affect its implementation. Specifically, some human features used in biometrics change as people age (LSE,2005). It also cannot be used by individuals who lack relevant body parts or which have been damaged by disease or accidents such as those with failing eyesights (CRS, 2005). It can also fail in two ways: a false positive and a false negative (ibid.). False negative occurs when an ID system scanner yields a negative result in matching the identity of the person and his biometrics when in fact there is a real match. Thus, if this happens in criminal investigations, the real perpetrator

Table 4. Number of Terrorist Attacks and the Presence of Identity Card Systems in Selected Countries, 2004

7

Country

However, no correlation was established between ID cards and the prevention of terrorism. In the same vein, it is safe to assume that if the coverage of ID cards is confined to citizens of a particular country, then it will not deter foreign nationals from committing terroristic activities.

Technology Environment: The Use of Biometrics

The rapid advancement in information technology in the past decade has spawned a new generation of ID systems that are vastly different from its predecessors. The introduction of biometric ID systems is a case in point.

Table 5. Leading Biometric Technologies and Their Description

shape of vocal tracts and learned speaking habits Sources: United States’ General Accounting Office (GAO) United

States’ Congressional Research Service (CRS)

Biometric

Source: Privacy International: “Mistake Relationship Between National Identity

Prevention of Terrorism” (April 2004)

Biometric Technology Facial Recognition

Fingerprint Recognition Hand Geometry

Iris Recognition

Retina Recognition

Signature Recognition

Speaker Recognition

Description Analyzes features such as the eye sockets, cheekbones, and sides of the mouth Based on the pattern of ridges on the fingertips Based on the dimensions of the fingers, joints, and knuckles Analyzes the visible patterns in the colored iris of the eye Captures and analyzes the patterns of blood vessels on the thin nerve on the back of the eyeball Authenticates identity by measuring handwritten signatures Uses differences in peoples’ voices

n Identity;

Exploring the

Cards and

the

combination

of

differences

in the

ID Card

from a physiological

No. of Attacks

Deaths

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