Buzzfeed today has an in depth look at India’s Aadhaar national identity system.
1.12 billion Indians are now enrolled in the system that’s rapidly becoming mandatory as everything from telephone companies to job interviewers demand an identification number.
Aadhar is far from without critics with warnings that the database has a rich potential for abuse and the risk of betraying Indians’ biometric data should the system be compromised.
The latter point is important as biometric data isn’t like passwords – once biometric data been compromised it can’t be changed which opens up massive possibilities for identity fraud.
Regardless of the risks, India’s state and Federal governments are pressing ahead with the system and making sure it is a fundamental part of national life. Coupled with the recent demonetisation of the economy, the nation’s governments now have a very good picture of most Indian’s lives.
For civil rights campaigners this is a worrying system while government officials and politicians claim it will stamp out fraud and strengthen national security.
India is leading the way in where many other nations are going in coming years, it would be worthwhile watching how Aadhaar develops.