UIDAI chairman says Aadhaar helped government save $9B

Nandan Nilekani, the first chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said that the Aadhaar Card system helped save India $9 billion by curbing cases of misuse of beneficiary welfare schemes, according to a report by Little India. “By having a unique number, you eliminate fakes and duplicates from your beneficiary and employee lists. That alone has saved the government $9 billion,” Nilekani said at a World Bank panel discussion on “Digital Economy for Development” in Washington. “It

Bengaluru’s KIA will be first fully Aadhaar-enabled airport in India

Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is set to become the first Aadhaar-enabled airport in India by 2018, according to a report by The Economic Times. Following a two-month pilot project in February, Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has given the greenlight to make KIA fully compliant with Aadhaaar-enabled entry and biometric boarding system. KIA is expected to be completely Aadhar enabled by December 2018, which is a part of the airport’s initiative to become a Smart Airport. Passengers will be

Report claims UIDAI executives part of private firms profiting from Aadhaar

Current and past employees of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the governing body for Aadhaar, are launching private firms or funding start-ups that are selling Aadhaar-based services and products. According to a report by The Indian Express, the practice is raising concerns regarding propriety and conflict of interest. For instance, former UIDAI chief product managers Vivek Raghavan (who is on a sabbatical with a tenure until the end of February 2018) and Sanjay Jain, as well as former

India may deactivate SIM cards not linked to Aadhaar

The Indian government has made it mandatory for citizens to connect their SIM card with Aadhar card before February 2018 in order to prevent the deactivation of their phone number, according to a report by Financial Express. The move comes a week after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) gave banks until the end of the month to open Aadhaar enrollment centers in 10 percent of branches and will fine Rs 20,000 (US$312) for every uncovered branch after September

Legislation struggling with deployment pace of biometric identity systems, says privacy expert

In an article published today in Technology Science, a Harvard-based journal, World Privacy Forum founder Pam Dixon argues that legislation is struggling to keep up with the deployment of biometric identity systems resulting in a high risk to fundamental civil liberties and privacy, particularly in India, but also with serious ramifications in the United States. Europe is also vulnerable to ‘mission-creep’ and risks failing the ‘Do no Harm’ principle. “According to the World Bank, 50 percent of countries with a

India’s ruling that citizens have right to privacy could impact biometric ID plan

India’s Supreme Court has finally ruled citizens have a fundamental right to privacy, which could potentially derail the government’s plan for making registration of its Aadhaar biometric identification program a requirement for all government services, according to a report by Bloomberg. The Supreme Court made the ruling after a month of hearing multiple petitions challenging the legality of the Aadhaar project to determine whether citizens are entitled to privacy as a fundamental right. The nine-judge bench unanimously ruled that privacy

Indian market regulator prepares for making Aadhar mandatory for stock trading

Securities and Exchange Board of India has taken the preliminary steps to making Aadhar mandatory for buying shares and mutual funds, according to a report by Economic Times. The market regulator has requested exchanges for their feedback on how prepared brokers are in getting their clients to send Aadhar card information prior to December 31. BSE asked brokers in a recent pamphlet for their comments on the issue by August 23. Existing clients will have to submit the Aadhar card

India moves to make Aadhaar-based authentication mandatory for real estate deals

In an effort to combat fraudulent transactions and the use of black market money in real estate agreements, the Indian government is planning to make Aadhaar-based authentication mandatory when signing documents such as agreement for sale, power of attorney and will, according to a report by The Indian Express. The government has also established plans to enable electronic registration of properties, for which Aadhaar authentication will be a necessary requirement According to sources, the government plans to amend Sections 32 and 32A

Police suspect user agency insiders responsible for Aadhaar data leak

Indian police and Aadhaar officials suspect that insiders at an authentication user agency (AUA) and a KYC user agency (KUA) are responsible for last week’s Aadhaar data leak, according to sources cited in a report by Deccan Herald. On July 29, the case was transferred from High Grounds police station to the cyber crime police station. The leak was discovered when an app offered e-KYC (know your customer) certificates, allegedly by accessing an Aadhaar database without authorization. The Unique Identification

India’s Supreme Court hears Aadhaar biometric ID privacy case

India’s Supreme Court is trying to determine whether citizens are entitled to privacy as a fundamental right in a case that could greatly impact the nation’s Aadhaar 12-digit biometric identity program and several global technology firms, according to a report by Bloomberg. The government’s legal basis of the Aadhaar program has been met with a huge backlash from activists, lawyers and politicians alike, with the Supreme Court in New Delhi tasked with assessing whether the system should be eliminated or