Abu Dhabi: The UN has singled out the Emirates Identity Authority in its e-Government Survey 2014 for its world-class biometric enrolment of the entire population. The United Nations’ report, which recently came out, includes a special box item in which it describes the Emirates ID’s biometric enrolment programme as “one of the world’s best biometric programmes”.

In page 86 of the latest report from the UN titled ‘e-Government Survey 2014: e-Government for the Future We Want’ and published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) the world body summarised the achievements of Emirates ID as follows:

“The deployment of the Emirates ID Authority’s Biometric Enrolment by the Emirates ID Authority as part of the National ID Registration Programme is recognised as one of the world’s best biometric programmes.

“Emirates ID Authority collects fingerprints of all the citizens and legal residents above the age of 15 in the country. It is mandatory for everyone residing in the country to be registered in the National Population Register. Considering the unique demographic composition of the country where expatriates amount to nearly 90 per cent of the population, the biometric enrolment is part of the mandatory health certification for all expatriates, making it convenient for the residents.

“The current database boasts of over a 105 million prints of rolled fingerprints, plan and hand side prints, in addition to over 15 million facial images. The best two fingerprints are stored in a secure, encrypted container in the Smart Card that is issued as the National ID Card. The Smart Card is provided with a Match-On-Card Applet which allows for a biometric verification and authentication enabling assertion of an individual’s identity on demand. The security on the ID Card is ensured by the encrypted containers which is enabled only through the National Validation Gateway. All the biometrics, data transmission and protocols are as per ANSI and/or ISO Standards.”

Ali Mohammad Al Khoury, Director General of the Emirates Identity Authority, said, “It was a great joy and pride that the UN recognised the Emirates ID’s achievements. It is a tribute to the noble vision of the UAE’s leadership. I hope this will inspire other countries in the region and elsewhere to embark on innovative identity management initiatives whose advantages straddle diverse spheres, including financial and capital markets, national security and good governance.“