CAPE TOWN Morning clouds. Cool.

MIN13
MAX16
7 day
  • Friday 13-18°c High level clouds. Mild. High level clouds. Mild.
    Saturday 14-18°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Sunday 13-22°c High level clouds. Mild. High level clouds. Mild.
    Monday 15-24°c High level clouds. Mild. High level clouds. Mild.
    Tuesday 17-24°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Wednesday 15-19°c More sun than clouds. Mild. More sun than clouds. Mild.
More News

Fingerprint technology could secure SA elections

2014-05-06 10:00
Fingerprint technology could significantly limit fraud and speed up the voting process. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Cape Town - South Africa heads to the polls on Wednesday, but the process could be made far more efficient by biometrics data like fingerprints to verify voters and limit fraud.

The standard practice in SA is that voters' identity books are checked and despite the rollout of a new ID card, the process takes time and is not a 100% defence against corruption.

"The use of fingerprint biometrics in South Africa's voting process would allow for each individual to cast a vote and make sure that their voice is heard - enhancing the democratic process," Greg Sarrail, vice president for Solutions Business Development at Lumidigm told News24.

The company has been developing secure biometrics systems that have met with some success for elections in Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Nigeria.

In Brazil, the biometrics systems are also used for ATMs and FNB has indicated that it is studying the technology for implementation in SA.

Reliable method

"Fingerprint biometrics is a rapid way to verify an individual’s identity and to make sure that the person voting is the same person that was issued their SA Smart ID card.  Voting lines would be decreased as the verification process would be much more efficient than the manual process that is used today," said Sarrail.

However, the reputation of biometrics has taken a hit in recent weeks when German researchers revealed that they had been able to compromise the fingerprint security of both the iPhone 5s and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Sarrail said that biometrics data itself is not a secret but that the methodology employed to detect them has to be reliable.

"First and foremost while each of us has a unique set of fingerprints – they are not secret. In fact, we leave our fingerprints on surfaces everywhere, every day. However, this doesn’t mean our biometric data has been compromised."

He added that detection methods should include the ability to detect that the finger being presented does, in fact, belong to the correct person.

"Reliable biometric systems use liveness detection to ensure that the fingerprint data that is used to match an individual is from a real, live human.  They also use fake-finger prevention mechanisms to ensure that the fingerprint being presented to the sensor at that moment in time originated from a live human and that it is not a fake representation."

All voting stations are open from 07:00 and close at 21:00.

Download the app by visiting one of these app stores.

  

Explore previous National and Provincial election results

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on: technology  |  elections 2014

More In This Category
IEC announces by-election date

The IEC has announced a date for municipal ward by-elections.

ANC Limpopo urges party to rebuild, dismisses early conference talk

The ANC in Limpopo has vowed to reform itself and has urged branches to focus on rebuilding instead of holding an early special conference or consultative conference.

3 more arrests for slain DA councillor, partner

Three more people have appeared in court in connection with the murders of DA councillor Johannes Baatjies and his business partner, the Northern Cape Hawks have said.

ANC 'colluding' MEC in hung councils hits back at IFP

KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has hit back at the Inkatha Freedom Party which has accused her of working with the ANC to stall processes in hung municipalities.

Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
19 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
News24 |   OLX  |  PROPERTY24  |  CAREERS24  |  SPREE  |