Indonesia is preparing to roll out what is possibly the world’s most ambitious biometric national electronic identity card (e-KTP) initiative. This project will be a challenge for numerous reasons, including the fact that the large country is an archipelago consisting of more than 17,000 islands with 141 million residents. Also, certain regions outside of the main urbanized areas may face infrastructure difficulties, such as reliable access to electricity and low Internet bandwidth.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Husni Fahmi, Chief of Sub-directorate, Population Administration in Indonesia, told the Biometric Consortium conference last week that 80% of the population has already been enrolled for the e-KTP national ID card. Sixty million ID cards have already been printed, according to a report on Planet Biometrics, with 119 million data records deduplicated using a multimodal process consisting of the biometric data from a person’s iris, fingerprint, and face.

The enrollment process consists of acquiring a photograph of the person’s face, fingerprints of all 10 fingers, iris images of both eyes, a digitized signature, and biographical information. The bulk of the information is stored as a record associated with each electronic identity card, though each card is understood to contain two fingerprint templates, a photo, and personal information.

Dr. Fahmi, who heads up the e-KTP project in Indonesia, told Network World that the plan is to get the system in place before the next election in 2014. The national ID is expected to eliminate voter fraud and combat terrorism. In the future, financial institutions will be able to use the IDs as proof of identification. According to the article, hardware was provided for the project by HP, L-1 Identity Solutions, Topaz Systems, and others. Development of the core software and system integration was done by Biomorf Lone Indonesia.