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National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Updates


Mar 21, 2007
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Nadra rolls out iris biometric verification

Iftikhar A. Khan
June 4, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) deploys the Iris recognition system at Nadra centres for identity verification and effectively addressing the duplicate identity issue.

The new biometric method, which was successfully piloted at the Nadra headquarters, has now been rolled out in Nadra mega centres at Blue Area, Islamabad, PECO Road, Lahore and DHA, Karachi.

The phased deployment of the technology will continue across all of Nadra’s 700 registration centres countrywide.

This automated biometric identification modality registers distinctive patterns within a ring-shaped region surrounding the pupil of each eye for identification.

Iris recognition, considered an extremely reliable and accurate identification method with negligible false match rates, is the third biometric modality to Nadra’s biometric verification system.

While unveiling the much-awaited initiative, Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik said the deployment of premium identity authentication by Nadra leveraged state-of-the-art recognition technology, offering precision with enhanced security and efficiency in the identity verification of citizens.

“The introduction of the Iris recognition system marks a significant leap forward in securing citizens’ identities, where the ‘window to their soul’ becomes the fortress of their digital existence,” Mr Malik said.

The Nadra chairman said that since no two irises are the same, such modality of verification is not susceptible to identity duplication and theft.

A Nadra official while talking to Dawn explained that iris is the coloured, donut-shaped portion of the eye behind the cornea that surrounds the pupil. A person’s iris pattern is unique and remains unchanged throughout life. Also, covered by the cornea, the iris is well protected from damage, making it a suitable body part for biometric authentication.

A key advantage of iris recognition, besides its speed of matching and its extreme resistance to false matches, is the stability of the iris as an internal and protected, yet externally visible organ of the eye.

Iris recognition is exceptional as it makes possible the avoidance of “collisions” (false matches) even in cross-comparisons across massive populations.

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