Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pakistan Launches World's Largest and Fastest Biometric Data Collection Effort

Pakistan has started verifying identities of over 135 million cell phone users through fingerprints. The massive exercise is being described by Washington Post as the "world’s largest — and fastest — efforts to collect biometric information". The deadline for completion is March 14, 2015.


Several countries, including South Africa and India, have recently implemented broad systems for collecting and storing their citizens biometric information. But analysts and communications experts say they can’t recall a country trying to gather biometrics as rapidly as Pakistan is doing, according to the Washington-based American newspaper.


In addition to setting up biometric verification systems at tens of thousands of retail points run by carriers, the cellphone companies have launched massive advertising campaigns and sent mobile vans around the country to accelerate the process. About half of all SIMs have so far been verified.

The companies are warning subscribers that their SIM (subscriber identity module) cards will not work unless the owners' fingerprints are  entered and verified against the database maintained by the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA). They have to show their computerized national identity cards (CNICs) and fingerprints. If the scanner matches their print with the one in a government database, they can keep their SIM card. If not, or if they don't show up, their cellphone service is cut off.

The current SIM registration drive is part of the government's new counter terrorism campaign. Cellphones have been used in the past to detonate explosive devices as well as to make extortion calls. Identification of SIM cards is expected to discourage such acts of terror and help track down the perpetrators.

The use of Big Data like Pakistan's biometric database is not limited to catching terrorists and criminals. It can also be used to significantly improve governance. Here's how Tariq Malik, the architect of Pakistan's NADRA, describes it in a recent piece for Forbes magazine:

BIG Data can now be leveraged for a variety of public uses, and re-uses. It can strengthen the link between citizens and state to enhance state capacity, and its applications are varied—ranging from disaster management to social service delivery.  

Collecting, storing and processing structured and unstructured information is an endeavor that is both massive and meticulous. But thanks to advancing big data technology, it’s more feasible today than ever before. BIG Data can now be leveraged for a variety of public uses, and re-uses. It can strengthen the link between citizens and state to enhance state capacity, and its applications are varied—ranging from disaster management to social service delivery. 

Consider Pakistan’s National Database And Registration Authority (NADRA) that houses one of the world’s largest multi-biometric citizens database, consisting of ten fingerprints, digital photographs and biographic attributes of each citizen. More than 121 million identities are stored in this database. When floods suddenly hit Pakistan in 2010, over 20 million citizens were displaced. Government wanted to provide monetary subsistence and aid for the rehabilitation and reconstruction effort; however, the problem was that while traditional aid could be dropped via helicopter, cash could not. They were further challenged with verifying claimants; specifically, identifying whether or not they belonged to a calamity hit area. 

 How could Pakistan support those affected by the disaster? The NADRA had a simple task to perform: cross verify citizen thumb prints with information stored in its database, then check their permanent address. The result was nothing short of miraculous. Essentially, big data allowed policymakers to know who the victims were and where they lived at the time of the crisis. Smart cards were quickly loaded with cash to help victims with rehabilitation efforts. More than $1 billion U.S. was disbursed without a single misappropriated penny. The process was swift and transparent, and international auditors were taken aback. 

All of this made international aid donors happy, since it cut down their cost of administration, eliminated doubts of corruption and narrowed the trust deficit. But more importantly, the state enforced its writ and citizens realized for the first time that the state is there for them in times of need. 

At last count, just 800,000 of Pakistan’s 180 million people paid direct taxes. Integrating data across various government databases, then reconciling it with the citizen database along with NADRA big data analytics helped identify 3.5 million tax evaders. It is estimated that if a basic minimum tax rate were applied, Pakistan would have $3.5 billion right away. Although big data analytics is no substitute for radical reform, it at least generates a healthy debate for tax reform. 

It’s been argued that state capacity is essentially “extractive capacity”; the ability to effectively tax its citizens and plough it back for public welfare. Advanced data analytics on big data provides an important linchpin in this ongoing debate. As NADRA’s experience illustrates, many fragile states face an even more basic challenge: the ability to accurately count and register its citizens. To collect and process big data in a way that does not compromise citizen privacy can have powerful development externalities, including the ability to build state capacity through tax collection—and avoid approaching the International Monetary Fund with a begging bowl. 

Big data analytics for government is a rapidly evolving field, offering exciting opportunities that, when explored and applied, can help fragile states uncover powerful and effective methods for optimizing governance.


Related Links:

Haq's Musings

NADRA Case Study

Pakistan Leads in Biometric IT Services

3G-4G Rollout in Pakistan 

Is India's AAdhaar Copied From Pakistan's NADRA?

Mobile Broadband in Pakistan









23 comments:

Aniruddh said...

Your Pakistan got Late so why you are in Hurry, in India (Democratic Country, Govt can't force anything to civilians) our system AADHAR is more advance, do IRIS scan with fingerprint and store everything linked with Bank, Tax, LPG connection ,Mobile Connection, Passport connection Criminal Record and everything in Bangalore airport you could enter without any Identity Card , just put your finger and your Identity revealed to security personals, soon all airport will have same.
Bangalore based (UIDAI ) AADHAR facility is the most advance. and Started years ago.
We and our all Kids have these Identity and in future we do not required to have our Identity cards with us.

Aniruddh

Anonymous said...

"Is India's AAdhaar Copied From Pakistan's NADRA?"

I will just say one thing for this

Pakistan Space Organisation SPARCO Started in 1961
and Indian ISRO (no need to write what is ISRO) was in 1969.

Matters Performance, each time Pakistan started war with India but who Finishes first(or won) does matter.

Singh said...

Fastest may be since small data compared to India. But surely not largest

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: "Fastest may be since small data compared to India. But surely not largest"

No of people in it (records) alone does not mean one database in bigger than another. The size of each record is just as important in determining it.

Anirudh: "Bangalore based (UIDAI ) AADHAR facility is the most advance. and Started years ago."

The fact is that Nilekani was inspired by Pakistan's NADRA to start the UIDAI Aadhaar project in India.

Aniruddh said...

Mr Riaz,

Nandan Nilkeni does not required any insipiration from anywhere he was founder of Patani computers ,later formed Infosys ,one company of them is as big as Pakistan's whole IT bussiness,

National database collection or starting Space explorer are not required any insipiration, one article could not mean Nilkeni done this , this was requirement and task given to him to lead it was 50000 carore rupees project can you Imagine the size of database of India.
but if Nandan was inspired from Pakistan than nothing is wrong and he has done brillent job and success.

Aniruddh

Riaz Haq said...

Anirudh: "Nandan Nilkeni does not required any insipiration from anywhere he was founder of Patani computers ,later formed Infosys"

Nandan Nilekani has never done anything original in his life. All his work is copycat as is the rest of the Indian industry.

Riaz Haq said...

After almost a year's standoff with the (Indian) ministry of home and the Intelligence Bureau (IB), there has been some headway in a proposal to use Aadhaar-based electronic Know Your Customer (KYC) data for allotting mobile telephone SIM cards.

All stakeholders have agreed to conduct a project for testing the efficacy. Based on the findings, a decision will be taken on the way ahead.

According to a government official, an experiment will be conducted in the five circles of Bhopal, Kolkata, Delhi, Lucknow and Bengaluru by telecom operators. These include the state-run BSNL and MTNL, plus private companies Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance and Idea.

Under the proposal, a person would get a new SIM card issued on his or her name instantaneously by punching in the Aadhaar number and biometrics, without needing to present a physical documentary proof. The Unique Identification Authority (UID) servers from the back-end will verify the antecedents.

The Aadhaar letter has been recognised as a valid proof of address and identity for issuing of SIM cards. However, the IB and home ministry had reservations about allowing e-KYC for this. The concern is misuse by terrorists or criminal elements.

The government official said e-KYC was more robust than physical documents. “No one person can own more than nine SIM cards and E-KYC will ensure a way to track the number of SIMs issued on one person’s name, difficult in the case of physical documents.” It has been reported that in one instance, 7,000 SIMs were found to be issued on the basis of one document, the person added.

All major telecom operators involved are pushing the initiative, as e-KYC will save them a significant cost in data storage and verification. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India imposes heavy fines on operators for not maintaining adequate KYC. They are expected to initially deploy authentication devices in company-owned outlets.

However, another government official said the security concerns were valid. For, SIM cards would be issued on the basis of the address in the Aadhaar database, which in many cases is not correct. “There is an inherent flaw in the database and cases of mixed biometrics and fake identity are being reported.” The person added extreme care needs to be taken in the case of SIM cards. “Bomb blasts are triggered through SIM cards,” the person added. The project is being emphasised since the government's Digital India project seeks to link mobile SIM cards with the UID number.

Earlier, a government official had told Business Standard that a mobile phone number was being considered a medium to act as an identifier for all government schemes. “Till the time a person disputes it, the government will use the number to disburse information about that person's transactions with the government,” the official had said.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/soon-you-can-punch-in-your-aadhaar-number-to-get-a-sim-card-115020401442_1.html

Majumdar said...

Prof sb,

Congratulations to all Pakis. This is indeed an excellent effort. I hope with this, finally Pakkkiland will be able to complete its (long-delayed) census.

IIRC tho, Mr. Nilekani has publicly acknowledged the influence of NADRA.

Regards

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has completed the biometric verification of 72 million SIMs, The News reports. The first phase of the verification process of over 100 million SIMs started on 12 January. According to the regulator, over 10 million SIMs had been cancelled in the first phase because they were not verified.

The second phase of biometric verification for individuals who have two SIMs issued on their CNIC will has started from 27 February and is scheduled for completion on 14 March. To have their cancelled SIMs reissued, individual customers should pass through the biometric verification process and the SIMs will only be delivered on the address provided.

The third phase will be conducted from 14 March until 12 April. The Biometric Verification System (BVS) imposed by the government is an attempt to increase security by preventing terrorists from using mobile SIM cards for attacks.


http://www.telecompaper.com/news/pakistan-completes-biometric-check-of-72-mln-sims--1068046

Anonymous said...

Like any mass produced technological product, Nilekani wanted the necessary checks and balances performed. You call it "copycat" but Nilekani wanted to improvise the Aadhar card by drawing upon experiences from Uganda to the US.

The stage has been set and now the full implementation is in force:

NEW DELHI: The Economic Survey for 2014-2015 states that the JAM Number Trinity - Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile numbers - allows the state to offer support to poor households in a targeted and less distorted way.

Recent experimental evidence documents that unconditional cash transfers - if targeted well- can boost household consumption and asset ownership, reduce food security problems for the ultra-poor and opportunities for leakage, the survey says.

As of December 2013 over 720 million citizens had been allocated an Aadhaar card. By December 2015 the total number of Aadhaar enrolments in the country is expected to exceed 1 billion. Linking the Aadhaar Number to an active bank account is key to implementing income transfers.

With the introduction of Jan Dhan Yojana, the number of bank accounts is expected to increase further and offering greater benefits through the vast Postal outlets in the rural areas.

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46394256.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Riaz Haq said...

Ash: "The complete lack of any form of concerns over privacy in Pakistan, and indeed the rest of the developing world, is a tragedy"

Welcome to the world of BIG DATA. It's inescapable regardless of where you are if you use modern means of computing and networking.

Riaz Haq said...

The teledensity in cellular phone sector has hit 73.32 percent as number of subscribers in the country including Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas touched 136.4 million by January 15 this year.
The cellular teledensity was 8.3 percent about 10 years ago but proactive policies of successive governments helped the sector to achieve growth and the tele-density in mobile phone sector jumped to 54.6 percent in 2007. A data compiled by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) revealed on Sunday that the cellular teledensity remained sluggish this year because of registration process of millions of SIMs by telecom operators.
Revision of mechanism for selling SIMs and limitation of SIMs on one CNIC also suppressed growth of subscribers. In December last year, the tele-density was 73.11 percent.
However, effective marketing campaigns by the operators stimulating subscription of cellular phone companies in urban and rural areas attracted 0.72 million new users to join subscribers’ base of five telecom operators in one month from December 14, 2014 to January 15, 2015. Moreover, the teledensity in the country including fixed, Wireless Local Loop and mobile phone has reached record 76.74 percent by January 15. The teledensity is defined as number of customers per 100 people. Hence it is roughly said that 76.74 percent of Pakistanis own and avail telephony services through different technologies.

http://nation.com.pk/business/02-Mar-2015/cellular-mobile-teledensity-hits-73-32pc-with-136-4m-subscribers

Ash said...

Actually, it has very little to do with Big Data.

Big Data is about being able to process huge volumes of high-dimensionality data efficiently. Biometrics, on the other hand, is about the illusion of control (on the part of certain authorities), sold to the general public in its sugar-coated form as a safety and security measure (which it does not guarantee, as I pointed out above).

One can undertake an exercise in Big Data without mass biometrics collection, whereas the converse is not necessarily true - if you want to be able to process massive amounts of biometric information, Big Data technologies are some of the most effective ways to do so. Thus, vast biometric collection is a choice, and Big Data is merely one of several enablers of that choice.

Riaz Haq said...

Ash: "Actually, it has very little to do with Big Data.

Big Data is about being able to process huge volumes of high-dimensionality data efficiently. Biometrics, on the other hand, is about the illusion of control (on the part of certain authorities), sold to the general public in its sugar-coated form as a safety and security measure (which it does not guarantee, as I pointed out above)"

As of 2007, NADRA database has both an Automatic Finger Identification System (AFIS) & a Facial Recognition System. • National Data Warehouse • Storage Capacity of 60 Terabytes • Processing Speed of 18 Trillion Instructions/ Sec • Multilingual Support of English/ Urdu/ Sindhi • AFIS with a matching speed of 16 million/sec • World largest Facial Library of 47 million images (ICAO) • Network Infrastructure • Highly redundant, scalable and mission critical • Connected with more than 8000 computers • Equipped Terrestrial, VSAT, and DVB RCS/2 WAN Links

It's most likely a lot bigger now in 2015 with over 100 million ID cards data.

It's big data by any definition of the term.

Read more at
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/PSGLP/Resources/InformationSystemReformsforImprovingGovernance.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s Inspector General of Police (ICP) ordered the completion of the digitalization of criminal records at all police stations to ensure the launch of its centralized biometric database by May 10, 2015, according to a report by Pakistan Today.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) also confirmed that he had established a connection with the National Database and Registration Authority. The NADRA link will make it possible to view the details of all arrested suspects, as well as access fingerprints and other essential detail, said Khawaja.
The database’s main server will be housed at the Central Police Office, where it will also be accessible to the IGP Sindh, IG Karachi and other senior police officers.
All formalities regarding logistics support and staff for networking the databases of all police stations have been completed.

Meanwhile, director IT Tabassum Abid said that 196 police stations have already been linked through a separate computer networking project.
The DIG CIA will work with the director IT to make use of the existing infrastructure and trained staff to make recommendations for additional resources, in order to ensure the effective use of available resources and the timely completion of the project.

http://www.biometricupdate.com/201504/pakistan-police-to-digitalize-criminal-records-for-centralized-biometric-database

Riaz Haq said...

Integrated Biometrics Tech To Track Teachers Attendance in #Pakistan. #Education

http://findbiometrics.com/integrated-biometrics-tech-to-track-teachers-in-pakistan-26302/ …

Integrated Biometrics technology is helping the Pakistan Education Department to identify teachers in remote villages, the company has announced. Pakistani authorities are using the company’s Columbo fingerprint scanner to match the identities of 150,000 teachers in rural and remote areas against its own database.

The project is funded by the World Bank, with the Integrated Biometrics technology having been selected by contractor Intellitech, which is said to have considered multiple options before settling on the Columbo scanner.

The Columbo fingerprint scanner is FBI-compliant and uses light emitting sensor (LES) technology allowing it to function well in a range of environments. Its technology has proven appealing in a range of applications, with the scanner having been integrated into BETHCOM access control systems and Mobizent’s Intermec CN70e mobile device.

The case of the Pakistan Education Department is a little different, of course. The aim of the project is to develop real-time attendance monitoring in schools in remote villages, which of course could have very positive impacts in the country’s education system. Speaking in a press release, Integrated Biometrics CEO Steve Thies commented, “The fact that our products are being used to improve education for hundreds of thousands of children is incredibly humbling and rewarding.”

Riaz Haq said...

Tipping the scales:
Security & surveillance in Pakistan

Unlike in most countries with mandatory registration, SIM cards (in Pakistan) are also biometrically verified against the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA national database, often by fingerprint.

Pakistan has one of the world’s most extensive citizen registration regimes – over 96 % of citizens reportedly have biometric ID cards, including the Smart National Identity Card (SNIC), which contains its owner’s biometric photo, a computer chip,
address and parental information. ID cards are commonly required to access services ranging from opening a bank account to getting a passport. Nevertheless, serious misidentification errors can occur and forgery is rife. Interception across Pakistani networks is pervasive; some of it is also unlawful. A Supreme Court hearing about a case concerning phone tapping revealed that the ISI tapped 6,523 phones in February, 6,819 in March and 6,742 in April 2015. The case,
dating from 1996, was brought following evidence that the then-Chief Justice’s phone had been tapped. At time of publication, no details about the procedures and process for intercepting communications had yet been publicly released.
Since 2004 network providers have been required to comply with requests for interception and access to network data as a standard condition of the PTA’s award of operating licenses to phone companies.

https://www.privacyinternational.org/sites/default/files/PAKISTAN%20REPORT%20HIGH%20RES%2020150721_1.pdf

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistani intelligence sought to tap worldwide internet traffic via underwater cables that would have given the country a digital espionage capacity to rival the US, according to a report by Privacy International.

The report says the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency hired intermediary companies to acquire spying toolkits from western and Chinese firms for domestic surveillance.

It also claims the ISI sought access to tap data from three of the four “landing sites” that pass through the country’s port city of Karachi, effectively giving it access to internet traffic worldwide.

Pakistan was in talks with a European company in 2013 to acquire the technology, but it is not clear whether the deal went through – a fact the rights organisation said was troubling.

“These cables are going to route data through various countries and regions,” Matthew Rice, an advocacy officer for Privacy International, said.

“Some will go from Europe to Africa and all the way to south-east Asia. From my reading that’s an explicit attempt to look at what’s going on.”

Traffic from North America and regional rival India would also be routed via the cables, he said.

The report, based on what it called previously unpublished confidential documents, said the data collection sought in the ISI’s proposal “would rival some of the world’s most powerful surveillance programmes” including those of the US and Britain.

A spokesman for Pakistan’s military said he was not able to comment on the issue at the present time.

Last month Pakistani rights campaigners and opposition lawmakers urged Islamabad to protect the privacy of its citizens after leaked top-secret documents appeared to show British intelligence had gained access to almost all of the country’s internet users.

Pakistan is in the process of debating its own cybercrime bill, which rights campaigners say threatens to curtail freedom of expression and privacy in its current form.

Rights groups also expressed concern over a provision that allows the government to share intelligence with foreign spy agencies, such as the American National Security Agency, and a plan to force service providers to retain telephone and email records for up to a year.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/23/pakistan-tried-to-tap-international-web-traffic-via-underwater-cables-report-says

Riaz Haq said...

For many years, cellphone operators around the world have complained about Facebook and Google: The American tech giants use the operators' cables and towers to hand out free phone calls and messaging services to people in their countries, eating into profits and grabbing customers' data.

Recently, one operator, Telenor, decided: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. And in the process, it hunted down the kind of link between people's digital and physical personas that not even Google has.

After A Terrorist Attack, A Fingerprint Drive

The realization came in an unusual, even troubling way: a terrorist attack.

You might remember seeing the news footage from northern Pakistan. Telenor Pakistan CEO Michael Foley recounts the events of Dec. 16, 2014.

"There was a horrendous event in Peshawar where there was a school attacked by very bad people. And they killed over 100 young students," recalls Foley, who lives in Pakistan with his wife and three daughters.

A Pakistani girl, who was injured in a Taliban attack on a school, is rushed to a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Tuesday.
THE TWO-WAY
Taliban Gunmen Storm School, Kill Dozens In Pakistan
The government faced a big problem: "They were not able to really identify who was actually the people owning the phones and getting instructions while they were in the middle of the attack," Foley says.

In the United States, the FBI can't unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. In Pakistan, law enforcement had a hard time figuring out who even bought the phones used in an attack.

For years, they'd talked about this problem, of not really knowing who owns each SIM card — the tiny card inside phones in much of the world that connects people to the mobile network and the Internet. And for a long time, the government talked about how to fix it with Foley, the CEO of a leading SIM card seller.

"The only thing that happened after the 16th of December was a very strong political and social will to get this done and sorted once and for all," Foley says.

And that's not a small thing.

Citizens are going into Telenor stores every day or every other day to put more money and minutes on their cards. So the company and the government devised a plan to get store clerks to fingerprint every customer and put those prints into an existing national database called NADRA.

Apple General Counsel Bruce Sewell (left) listens to FBI Director James Comey testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
THE TWO-WAY
FBI Chief Tells Congress Encryption Is Creating 'Warrantproof' Devices
This fingerprint drive by a mobile carrier — the equivalent of an AT&T or a Verizon — was the first of its kind in the whole world. However, the plan proved to be very expensive.

"We actually stopped selling SIMs to get this over with as soon as possible," Foley says.

According to Telenor, it took them about four months to register 50 million to 60 million people. While it cost the business, in the end, that drive was a gift of sorts.

"What that did," says Foley, "is provide a real close link — a very, very solid link — between the owner of the SIM card and their identity."

In Asia, A Unique Position

On a stage in Barcelona last week, Foley's boss and Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke spelled out what the Pakistan story means for business.


Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group, gives a keynote speech Feb. 23 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
In a keynote at the Mobile World Congress, an annual gathering of the largest mobile operators, the Norwegian businessman told his peers something surprising, albeit obvious: American tech giants are not the only ones that can follow people around online, collect and sell personal data; Telenor can, too, maybe even better.

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/03/01/468574508/how-a-mobile-carrier-in-asia-is-beating-google-at-the-data-game

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan to issue #biometric #passports to curb human trafficking to #Europe, Gulf

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/pakistan-to-issue-biometr/2800622.html

Pakistan plans to issue biometric passports from next year to halt the thousands of people who are being trafficked overseas, largely to European and Gulf nations, officials said.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan approved the move last week after a meeting with officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on tackling human trafficking and migrant smuggling in the South Asian nation.

"We will start issuing biometric passports from 2017," Sarfraz Hussain, the Interior Ministry spokesman, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation late on Wednesday.

Pakistan in 2004 adopted computerised passports that can be read by scanning machines, he said, but the passports do not contain a microchip, which contains the holder's biodata.

This is useful as it will help authorities detect forged travel documents used by traffickers who lure poor people from rural areas with the promise of a good job overseas, Hussain added.

A combination of poverty, natural disasters and insecurity caused by a long-running Islamist insurgency has forced thousands of Pakistanis to flee in search of a better life in Europe and the Middle East.

There are no accurate figures on how many people are being trafficked or smuggled outside the country, but the United Nations says government data on deportations of Pakistanis due to illegal migration have risen in recent years.

There were 66,427 Pakistanis deported from countries such as Spain, Greece, Turkey, Oman and Iran in 2013, up from 46,032 in 2010, according a 2014 report by the U.N. Office for Drugs and Crime.

Many trafficking victims are detected at border posts in Iran and Turkey as they attempt to travel on to Europe, where they often have to risk their lives on board dangerously inadequate vessels run by people smugglers, said the report.

Others are deported from Oman - often en route to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they take up low-skilled employment as maids, construction workers or drivers, and are often subjected to labour abuses.

A FIA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said more than 1,000 trafficking networks were operating across the country, the majority in the central Punjab province.

These organised criminal gangs primarily use Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, which shares a border with Iran, as a trafficking route to Europe and the Middle East.

From Iran, the trafficking victims are either taken to Turkey where they continue on to Europe, or sent to Oman and then on to the UAE, he added.

More than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe in 2015, sparking a crisis as nations struggled to cope with the influx, and created division in the EU over how to resettle people.

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, about 3 percent of these migrants and refugees were Pakistani nationals.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan #telecom companies lead the world telcos in using big data: Teradata CTO. #BigData


http://tribune.com.pk/story/1151447/telecommunication-tech-expert-dives-big-data-potential-pakistan/


The telecom operators (telcos) currently working in Pakistan are fast becoming an example even for telcos of developed countries, which are catching up with some of their best business practices, placing Pakistan among the top tier in the global telecommunication sector, said Teradata Corporation Chief Technology Officer Stephen Brobst.

The reasons, he said, are clear – Pakistani telcos are investing and competing with each other in technology and data analytics with multinational companies always leading the competition and making the market’s overall structure efficient and sophisticated.

“Globally, telcos are our biggest clients, generating a major chunk of the company’s revenues by efficiently using data analytics. The presence of extreme competition within multinationals has pushed the country among top-tier ranks. Global telcos are now picking the best Pakistani brains to adopt some of their best practices,” Brobst said in an interview with The Express Tribune.



Teradata Corporation is a US-based company dealing in analytical data platforms and analytics solutions.

The company is also working with some government departments like the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) analysing the data to identify population demographics, support intelligence and investigation and other such cases.

Teradata also provides analytics to governments for tax compliance at corporate as well as individual levels. The company had worked with the Punjab government in the healthcare sector.

Brobst said they jointly worked with the province to prevent the dengue virus and have successfully used those findings in other countries as well.

The core of this technology is analysing the data rather than keeping it for record. “We live in a digital era which means data is the new currency. Traditionally, a lot of data technology was for record keeping or transaction processing, whereas we are based on analytics, how to understand people’s behaviour, network planning and how to make better decisions based on the data,” he added.

Brobst further said the country can use this technology to streamline its energy issues, banking system, large-scale manufacturing, healthcare and education.

In power companies, smart metering is the solution which can exactly detect how much data is consumed at which hours unlike analogue meters where one has to visit all the meters in order to analyse.

The company is looking to work with K-Electric, but the power company faces issues in installing the smart metering system. He said once K-Electric manages to get the exact data, then they will work with them for further innovation via data analytics.

“This will help in eliminating electricity theft and energy crisis, the world is benefiting to some extent, however, this technology will start emerging in Pakistan in the next five years.”

“We are now in the 21st century and the world has only three options now in terms of doing business – either you are in the data business or you will be in the data business or you will be out of business,” he said.

Anonymous said...

UIDAI and NADRA are two very different systems and have been developed differently , although some of their functions might be the same...... please google to find out the details. Infact UIDAI is more scaleable than NADRA.....!

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has virtually attained one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing legal identity to its citizens, including birth registration.

The target 9 of Goal 16 calls upon the member states of the United Nations (UN) who have pledged to achieve the SDGs by 2030, that they provide “legal identity for all, including birth registration”.

Since its inception in 2000, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has been issuing Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) to Pakistani citizens and its equivalent to the Pakistani diaspora. A CNIC is issued first at the age of 18, after the resident’s biometrics have been captured.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in a report said that, “the Nadra system is considered one of the world’s leading integrated national identification (ID) systems, and has provided technical assistance to the development of many systems in the developing world.”

“Nadra is also a financially self-sustaining system with a good business model in place,” the report added.

The report titled ‘Identity for Development in Asia and the Pacific’ says that Pakistan’s integrated national identification (ID) system was assessed as being at an advanced stage, as it uses cutting-edge processes and was near universal in its coverage. “The deduplication process uses biometrics and is robust while the third-party integration is easy and profuse...,” the report said. “The ID system offers a means to fast-track the development process by providing the most efficient way to identify people in developing countries.”

The report claimed that although there was no one model for providing a legal identity, the SDGs encouraged states to provide people with free or low-cost access to widely accepted, robust ID credentials.

“The UN sees ID as an enabler to achieving other SDGs in areas relating to social protection, health, finance, energy, and governance,” according to the report.

In 2012, with the aim to enhance security features on the card to make it difficult to forge as well as to expand usage in government service delivery, Nadra introduced the Smart National ID Card.

This contains a data chip, 36 security features and a match-on-card applet that improves the security of the smart card authentication by storing ID data on the card.

For Pakistani citizens, the report said, the CNIC is mandatory for conducting a vast range of transactions with the government as well as the private sector, such as voting, opening and operating bank accounts, obtaining a passport, purchasing vehicles and land and obtaining a driver’s licence.

In November 2014, the UN convened a ministerial conference on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) in Asia and the Pacific. One outcome of the conference was the development of a regional action framework for CRVS in Asia and the Pacific.

Recognising the transformational potential of 21st century ID systems for the delivery of basic services to the poor, the World Bank launched its Identification for Development (ID4D) agenda -- a cross-practice initiative with a vision to make everyone count, to ensure a unique legal identity, and to enable digital ID-based services for all.

The report explained that a total of 18 per cent of developing countries had a scheme that was used for ID purposes only. “Nearly 55pc have digital IDs that are used for specific functions and services such as voting, cash transfers, or health; and only 3pc have foundational ID schemes that can be used to access an array of online and offline services. Moreover, 24pc of developing countries have no digital ID scheme,” it said.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1297293/pakistan-one-step-ahead-in-achieving-goal-of-providing-legal-identity-to-citizens