Ethiopian government introduces digital biometric IDs

Ethiopia is launching the nation’s first Foundational ID project, providing national IDs equipped with biometrics to residents.

The East African nation plans to ease the issuance of digital IDs; minimize the reliance on smart cards, ease of distribution and usage of new IDs; and provide authentication for both online and offline scenarios. The Ethiopian government selected TECH5’s T5-ABIS BE (Biometric Engine) for face, fingerprint and iris modalities for biometric identification, de-duplication and enrollment, as well as T5-Digital ID for issuance and authentication of foundational IDs in Ethiopia.

Citizens are enrolled in the National ID system by providing their biometric and demographic data. Face, fingerprint and iris images are captured, checked for quality using the TECH5 SDK, and then de-duplicated through a 1:N check against data in the National ID system to make sure that every record is unique, and every citizen will have only one Digital ID.

After the enrollment, digital IDs are generated and sent to their authorized holder — the citizen — and can be presented in an electronic or printed format and verified offline using an authorized verifier application on a smartphone or tablet.