Saudi Arabia Plans World’s Biggest Biometric Center

Arab News27.03.2014 Security
Saudi Arabia Plans World’s Biggest Biometric Center

Saudi Arabia Plans World’s Biggest Biometric Center

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Saudi Arabia plans to set up world's biggest biometric center in the Kingdom which will contain the eye, facial and finger imprints of almost 30 million people.

Adil Al-Aid, an expert on biometric identification systems, said the Kingdom is embarking on this initiative ahead of most countries, notably Arab and Islamic countries.

“The Ministry of Interior is seeking to build a world-class and highly efficient database containing the biometric features of both citizens and residents through representation by the National Information Center (NIC),” Al-Aid told a local daily.

The system, which will be able to curb malicious intent for committing crime or terrorist acts, will keep the Kingdom at the forefront in security-related matters, he said.

The expert called on GCC countries to link their biometric centers in order to eradicate crime and easily identify potential criminals in order to enhance regional security.

The biometric system has succeeded in many civilian and security issues and is gaining popularity among users, he said.

In this regard, he cited the fingerprint system, which was used in the issuance of ID cards for citizens and residents. Though the system was initially rejected, it was later accepted by all users after people realized the benefit of the system, he said.

Al-Aid said security developments in the wake of September 11, 2001 forced certain countries to introduce security and regularity programs to identify people and expand their use. Since then, security programs have been widely used between regional groupings, such as the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council, with the intent to exchange information and track down suspicious individuals, he added.

Last year, the Kingdom announced its plans to create the first Saudi biometric center in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to carry out biometric identification procedures before issuing visas to visitors and pilgrims.

Prince Khaled bin Saud bin Khaled, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, said at the time that the centers would be initially opened on an experimental basis in the UAE, South Korea and Germany. 

He said the centers were aimed at preventing criminals and individuals banned from entering the Kingdom from obtaining visas.

Source: Arab News


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