Mexico to pioneer iris technology on ID cards

January 21, 2011
Matsushita Electric presents its biometric security system "BM-ET300" based on the iris recognition technology enabling the identification and authentification of each person by iris-pattern in Tokyo 2003. Mexico will on Monday become the first country to start using iris scans for identity cards, according to the government, which claims the scheme will be highly secure.

Mexico will on Monday become the first country to start using iris scans for identity cards, according to the government, which claims the scheme will be highly secure.

"The legal, technical and financial conditions are ready to start the process of issuing this identity document," Felipe Zamora, responsible for legal affairs at the Mexican Interior Ministry, told journalists Thursday.

The documents, which will include the eye's image as well as fingerprints, a photo and signature, will be 99 percent reliable, Zamora said.

Critics, including the National Human Rights Commission, have slammed the system, expressing concern that compiling personal data could violate individual rights.

The move will be introduced gradually, with some 28 million minors taking part in a first two-year stage, due to cost 25 million dollars.

The cards are due to start for adults from 2013.

Iris recognition is increasingly used in airports, controlling access to restricted areas, and prisoner booking and release.

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