20 million in iris database to facilitate public security management

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/3 22:48:41

Police use biometric info as crime-fighting tool

Tan Tieniu, the founder of IrisKing, a Beijing-based company under the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduces application of the iris-recognition technology in June 2018, in Beijing. Photo: VCG

A database containing the biometric iris information of up to 20 million people has been developed in China, which the developer said will be used to facilitate public security organs in their hunt for criminals and search for missing people. 

The database is part of an iris recognition system and platform built by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and IrisKing, a Beijing-based company under the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). 

The system also provides cross- reference checks for different platforms under the Ministry of Public Security, a company employee surnamed Wang told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

It only takes one glance and few seconds for the iris recognition system to identify a person. 

The eye's iris is one of the most unique features of the human body and doesn't change throughout a person's life. It is also more accurate than fingerprints and face recognition, and more difficult to alter or fabricate, He Zhaofeng, an expert with the CAS Institute of Automation, told the Global Times.

The false positive rate of iris recognition is 1 in 1.2 million, while fingerprints produce false positives at a rate of 1 in 100,000 and the facial recognition rate is 1 in 100, read an IrisKing report sent to the Global Times. 

Iris recognition systems are proving more reliable than other digital recognition systems and have become a rising star in police investigation work. 

At a promotional fair for criminal investigation technology and equipment held in April, an iris recognition system developed by Hongshi Technologies Co, a Wuhan-based company, received a lot of attention.

Hongshi's collector has completed building an iris database that has a capacity to hold iris biometrics on 500,000 people in Urumqi, capital of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, for security management, according to the China News Service. 

Attendees to the fair were police from across the nation and others in the field of criminal investigation, said the report. 

Apart from hunting down criminals, iris recognition has been used to search for missing people. Some technology companies have collected iris biometrics of the elderly and children so they can be tracked down when missing. 

The CAS expert noted that many countries are using iris recognition technology but have yet to collect a large-scale database, limiting the development of the technology. 

Biological recognition technology has sparked controversy over privacy concerns. 

He dismissed those concerns by saying an iris scan is difficult to collect without alerting the person and requires them to volunteer to have their iris read. 

During 2018's two sessions, 29 deputies to the 13th National People's Congress from Central China's Henan Province suggested iris identification be combined with China's social security card, identity card and passport, The Beijing News reported.
Newspaper headline: 20 million in iris database

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