Microsoft considering using Aadhaar to authenticate Skype users in India

Microsoft is considering using Aadhaar to authenticate users in India of its VoIP phone service Skype, according to a report by The Hindu Business Line.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently met with India’s Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, to discuss how the technologies used in Digital India projects can benefit the country.

The Digital India initiative aims to make government services available to Indian citizens electronically through improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity.

Microsoft said it has been conducting pilot projects wherein Skype service can be used to authenticate the identity of customers using the Aadhaar database.

The company also presented several case scenarios on how the free VoIP service can be used, such as Skype users authenticating themselves to access government services that require Aadhaar-based verification.

Prasad, who called his meeting with Nadella “fruitful”, said the country is also thinking of applying the experiences of Microsoft’s pilot project in Harisal for its newly-announced Digi Gaon initiative.

“We have appreciated their initiative for digital inclusion in village… the Harisal pilot project in Maharashtra where they brought in a lot of technology and connectivity for digital health and digital education,” Prasad said.

Nadella also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss Microsoft’s digital inclusion program that uses technology for improving rural healthcare and education.

Previously reported, Mastercard said it will will further leverage the Digital India initiative to market its services, and is considering integrating facial recognition technology, Masterpass and other online payment methods with other services it currently offers in India.

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