(Nikkei Asia) NEC is expanding its biometric authentication business by helping Vietnam modernize ID cards used by all citizens 14 and older, an effort that has registered face and fingerprint data on more than 50 million people.
The Japanese electronics group intends to grow its biometric business globally by building upon experience in emerging countries, developing technologies and establishing rules that protect privacy and prevent counterfeiting.
NEC supplied the biometric data tech to Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security. Traditionally, ID information was managed via paper documents. But when the Southeast Asian country shifted to digital management of the information, NEC’s authentication technology was introduced. More than 1,800 hubs have been established to register facial and fingerprint information.
The ability to verify a person’s identity using biometrics can prevent duplicate issuance of ID cards as well as unauthorized use. Administrative services such as social security and tax payment procedures also will be easier to use.
This is the third announced case of NEC providing a biometric authentication system for national ID management, following India and South Africa. The company expects more demand in emerging countries where information management systems are not well developed.
NEC in 2021 achieved the world’s highest accuracy in facial recognition testing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the company said. By incorporating deep learning technology, the system matches images with different facial orientations and low-resolution images taken at a distance from the camera. The system has a track record in large-scale use, including for admission of related personnel at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.