Pakistan is trying to use biometric technology to reduce fraud in the real estate industry. To that end, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has signed an agreement with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that will lead to the creation of a biometric identification system for property transactions.
The goal is to use biometric technology to verify the identity of the buyer and seller of a property. The Biometric Verification System (BVS) will allow real estate agents to comply with Know Your Customer regulations, and thwart criminals that try to complete sales with forged identities. The identification procedure will be applied for all purchases, sales, and transfers in the Islamabad Capital Territory, where the CDA currently oversees around 20,000 transactions on an annual basis.
“Biometric authentication brings transparency in property transfers,” said NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik. “NADRA’s Biometric Identification system will provide accurate identification and minimize the risk of unwanted breaches within the Capital Development Authority. With this type of security system, transactions take place not just by affidavit but by biometrics.”
The announcement is not all that surprising given Pakistan’s longstanding interest in biometric technologies. The country started using biometrics for voter and mobile registration as far back as 2015, and has since gone on to use biometric identification to distribute welfare payments. It has also used the technology to ensure that poverty relief funds go to their intended recipients.
However, critics have raised security concerns about the NADRA system. In December, Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency warned about the threat of illegal SIM cards, noting that fraudsters have historically obtained those cards through the use of high-quality spoofs of real fingerprint data. However, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has stressed that the volume of illegal SIM cards in circulation has been decreasing, and that mobile operators are rolling out better liveness tech to address the problem. NADRA, meanwhile, launched a mobile ID app back in September.
July 1, 2022 – by Eric Weiss