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Madeira pilots biometric ID system

The island is piloting a single-touch biometric identity system that will enable citizens to carry out a number of transactions with the government.

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The biometric system can also be used at conventional payment terminals across the island
The biometric system can also be used at conventional payment terminals across the island

The island of Madeira is rolling out a pilot programme to provide a digital identity platform to allow citizens to perform a range of transactions.

 

It is part of the Government’s smart island programme and will be enabled by a high-security biometric system-on-card (BSoC) product, provided by technology group Tactilis.

 

It incorporates a government-grade fingerprint sensor and standard smartcard chip which enables it to be used with conventional terminals already deployed on the island.

 

Biometric programme

 

The M-Smart biometric security research and development project was developed at the Madeira living laboratory. A consortium of system integrator companies working under the umbrella name ’Power of Touch’ has been put together to implement it.

 

The consortium has ordered 3,400 cards and 600 wireless card readers/carriers to help advance the smart island programme that initially comprises 12 projects covering sectors such as education, healthcare, port security, transport, payments and tourism as well as a wide range of government services.

 

From a security and privacy standpoint, the Tactilis card’s biometric identity system employs decentralised architecture, meaning that the rightful owner’s fingerprint biometrics are stored securely in their own personal card – kept in their own wallet – protected by their own fingerprints and are not needed in a centralised database.

 

"It will enable our government and related agencies to deliver a wider range of services securely whilst managing their operations more efficiently."

 

The government wants to ensure that its citizens have trusted access to both physical locations and a wide and fast-growing range of digital-based services as well as help to equip them to participate in emerging technology trends such as cryptocurrencies, shared economy platforms and the use of blockchain.

 

The smart island programme is financially supported by the Madeira government and the European Union.

 

“The Government of Madeira is very enthusiastic about the vast possibilities for this technology and its ability to make the life of Madeirans more convenient, safe and secure,” said Madeira president, Miguel Albuquerque.

 

“At the same time, it will enable our government and related agencies to deliver a wider range of services securely whilst managing their operations more efficiently. Madeira is well positioned to pioneer this technology to the rest of the world. We now look forward to seeing the first pilots start early next year and the full roll-out commencing later in 2020.”

 

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