Travel and border control(iris) Civil identification (iris)
United Arab Emirates’ border control agencies have been using iris recognition at all border security checkpoints on land, air and sea ports. Travellers with visitor visa, who are not the citizen of the country, have to go through iris recognition process to enter the UAE. Similar efforts are being made in Canada, which is using iris recognition technology under CANPASS Air program, which is used to speed through low risk pre-approved travellers. Currently the system is operational in several Canadian Airports. Iris recognition application for civil identification has been deployed for government and security agencies throughout the world. However, India’s Aadhar program is the most notable example of iris recognition application. It hold iris and fingerprint templates of the more than 1.2 billion Indian citizens, which is considered to be the world biggest biometric database. Similar efforts have been made

Mobile biometrics (iris) Government agencies (retina)
History of biometric recognition on mobile phones dates back to 2007, when Toshiba launched its Windows Mobile devices with fingerprint sensor. However, iris scanner did not make it to mobile phones until 2015, when Fujitsu launched the first smartphone with iris scanning capabilities. After that technology firms has launched many mobile devices with iris recognition, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, S8, Note 8, Microsoft 950 XL, Vivo X5 Pro are among the most notable ones. Unlike iris recognition, which can be setup using a digital camera and recognition software to process data, retina recognition require special setup to illuminate retina and capture the pattern of blood vessels, which cannot be setup in today’s space constraint devices. On the other hand, iris recognition offers a viable solution and is already being deployed by mobile phone manufacturers. Retinal scanning has been used by government agencies like CIA, FBI, NASA, etc. It has also been used in for customer identification at ATMs and prisoner identity verification at correctional facilities.


Despite the rapid advancement in technology, there is no biometric recognition system that can be called perfect. Recognition systems still have many shortcomings related with security and convenience that need to be addressed. Users tend to like least invasive techniques that also let them know that they are being identified. It is the probable cause of success of Fingerprint Identification as it keeps a balance of convenience, invasiveness and security. Hands can be moved freely and fingertips can be touched the way a user wants, however that is not the case with eye based identification methods. They cause a certain degree of user inconvenience and make them conscious, specially in case of retina recognition. The user has to keep his/her eyes steady, especially in case of retinal scan.
Despite these shortcomings, retina scan is a highly secure method of identification and immune to spoof attacks. Iris scan, however, is more practical in real world applications. It is more prone to spoof attacks than retina recognition. Other than challenges specific to iris or retina recognition, usual risk factors with biometric recognition, biometric data security and performance of biometric systems are the common challenges for both the recognition methods.