DigitalPersona and Nigerian Partner Zinox Help to Ensure One Citizen, One Vote with Industry-Leading Civil ID Systems
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - DigitalPersona, Inc., a global provider of authentication and endpoint protection solutions, today announced that the company's U.are.U® fingerprint biometrics were used in the 2011 Nigerian elections to contribute to a secure and fair Nigerian voter registration process. DigitalPersona® teamed with Zinox Technologies Ltd., manufacturers of Nigeria's first internationally certified branded computers and the largest IT solutions integrators in West Africa, and others to deliver 132,000 fingerprint readers in less than two months. DigitalPersona's Civil ID fingerprint solutions and rapid-response technical services played an important role in helping Zinox - the Nigerian company that won 60 percent of the bid - to bring fairness and transparency to the Nigerian electoral system.
Nigeria became a democracy through a presidential election in 1999, but balloting remained challenged by voting irregularities. Voter registration lists over the last decade were full of names of dead and fictitious people; precincts that had few voters sometimes were reporting a 100 percent turnout in highly-contested local elections. In the weeks and months leading up to Nigeria's April 2011 elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was faced with the challenge of registering eligible citizens in Africa's most populous country. INEC put out a bid for 132,000 Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines to support voter registration. The highly-competitive bid was awarded to three companies: Zinox, which supplied 80,000 voter registration stations, Haier Electrical Appliances Corp Ltd, supplying 30,000 and Avante International Technology Inc. delivering 22,000. All three companies used DigitalPersona fingerprint biometrics in their DDC solutions.
"Through our partnership with DigitalPersona we were successful in winning the largest portion of the INEC's competitive bid. We delivered our 80,000 DDC machines in a matter of weeks, and helped Nigeria achieve the goal of one person, one vote," said Leo Stan Ekeh, president and CEO of Zinox, the largest IT Company in sub-Saharan Africa. "The 2011 elections, and the international stamp of credibility they received, have been regarded as a turning point for Nigeria's 152 million people. We were honored to play such an important role in this process. The fact that we delivered ahead of the foreign companies showed that a Nigerian company with the right leadership, resources and processes can deliver world-class solutions. We rekindled the can do it spirit among Nigerian entrepreneurs and opened a new era for indigenous enterprise."
DigitalPersona stands apart in the Civil ID industry for the company's unmatched combination of manufacturing, biometric technology expertise and product breadth. For the Nigerian voter registration project, DigitalPersona provided the following to its partners:
- Fast-ramp, high-volume manufacturing: DigitalPersona delivered 132,000 fingerprint readers in under two-months and in the face of a highly-volatile political environment.
- Deep Expertise in Biometrics Hardware and Software: DigitalPersona guided system integrators in responding to the INEC bid, helping with integration of the fingerprint sensor into the DDC stations for voter registration and understanding the nuances of template formats and accuracy.
- Industry-Leading Technology: Under the appropriate licenses, DigitalPersona software was delivered in source code, making it ideal for transparent development and deployment. Quick integration of the U.are.U 4500 was facilitated by its high-quality 500 dpi images, support for international standard images formats and compact size. In addition, the fingerprint reader's ergonomic "cool blue" illumination enhanced the visual appeal of the voting stations.
"Growth, prosperity and political stability are dependent on a fair and secure democratic electoral process," said Michael Printz, vice president of worldwide sales at DigitalPersona. "As a result, the adoption of fingerprint biometrics for identification of citizens is growing rapidly in countries around the world. Our product portfolio and rapid-response support services are well suited for large volume projects such as the one in Nigeria. We have a successful development and implementation track record, and our tier-one partnerships such as the one we have forged with Zinox, speak to our credibility as a Civil ID solutions provider."
DigitalPersona, Inc. is a global provider of strong authentication and endpoint protection solutions that close the gap between people and security for enterprises, government agencies and commercial embedded-solution developers. The company's fingerprint biometrics technology helps organizations prevent fraud and increase accountability; it is incorporated into multiple national voting systems, almost all brands of biometrically-enabled point-of-sale (POS) stations, as well as many commercial applications in the retail, healthcare, and financial industries. DigitalPersona's data and access protection software is shipped by computer manufacturers on millions of notebooks and desktop computers per year; its cloud- and Active Directory-managed solutions for full disk encryption, multi-factor/strong authentication and single sign-on (SSO) password management simplify compliance and cut IT costs. For more information contact DigitalPersona, Inc. at: +1 650.474.4000, or visit www.digitalpersona.com.
© 2011 DigitalPersona, Inc. All rights reserved. DigitalPersona® and U.are.U® are trademarks of DigitalPersona, Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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