Indian gov’t says it won’t link Aadhaar to national security databases

The Indian government has stated that it will not link its Aadhaar biometric identification scheme with its national intelligence databases. Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s Minister of Law and Justice, told the parliament on Monday: “Let me assure the house that Aadhaar’s linking with NATGRID is not there.” Aadhaar is the 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India. The Aadhaar project aims to provide a single, unique identifier which captures all the demographic

Acuity report forecasts national electronic ID program to surpass $54B from 2016 to 2021

Acuity Market Intelligence released a new research report titled “The Global National eID Industry Report: 2017 Edition“, which forecasts that the global market for national electronic ID (eID) programs will exceed $54 billion in revenues between 2016 to 2021. The report finds that Asia will account for more than 60 percent of all cards issued as the number of countries issuing national eID cards increases from 124 to 136 during the forecast period. Acuity’s report projects that during the forecast

Aadhaar can’t be made compulsory for government welfare programs

The Supreme Court of India said that the government cannot make it compulsory to have an Aadhaar card to receive benefits from government welfare schemes, according to a report by Firstpost. The government, however, cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar in other programs like opening of bank accounts, said the Supreme Court. The decision comes a week after Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the governing agency in charge of Aadhaar, made it mandatory for all devices using Aadhaar authentication

Aadhaar program wins World Bank praise

Paul Romer, Chief Economist at the World Bank, told Bloomberg that India’s Aadhaar scheme is tremendously effective and should be emulated around the world. According to a report by Bloomberg, Romer said: “The system in India is the most sophisticated that I’ve seen. It is the basis for all kinds of connections that involve things like financial transactions. It could be good for the world if this became widely adopted.” While other countries are also looking at similar programs, research

UIDAI says Aadhaar database is fully secure, no incidents of biometrics misuse

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the governing agency in charge of Aadhaar, announced that they have not found any cases of misuse of Aadhaar biometrics resulting in identity theft and financial loss during the more than 40 billion Aadhaar authenticated transactions that were processed over the past five years, according to a report by Business Today. The authority also read through various reports and confirmed that there has never been a breach to UIDAI’s Aadhaar database, and emphasized

Biometric Update named “official journalist” for 2017 ID4Africa event

ID4Africa announced today that it has selected BiometricUpdate.com as the “official journalist” for its 2017 annual meeting, to be held April 26-28, 2017 in Windhoek, Namibia. The three-day event is the third annual government meeting of the ID4Africa movement and the second time that Biometric Update has been named as the “official journalist” of the event. ID4Africa was co-founded by the Asia Pacific Smart Card Association (APSCA) and Identity Counsel International (ICI) to promote the transparent and responsible adoption of

Civil liberties group warns Aadhaar becoming mandatory

The Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) has complained that despite repeated reminders from Indian courts that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory, government violations continue. According to an article by The Wire, the organization has determined that “in blatant disregard of the Supreme Court’s directions, the finance ministry has communicated a ‘common strategy’ to be adopted by banks to achieve specific targets under Aadhaar” despite the fact that Aadhaar enrolment is supposed to be “free and voluntary”. Aadhaar is the

Ghana aims to issue 27M biometric ID cards in next year

Despite current logistical challenges, Ghana’s newly appointed National Identification Authority (NIA) CEO told the The Ghanaian Times this week that he is working towards carrying out his mandate to coordinate and supervise the registration and issuance of national biometric identification cards to 27 million citizens within a year. NIA CEO, Professor Ken Agyemang Attafuah, also a senior law lecturer at the Central University College, said he believed the challenges were not unsurmountable. Two weeks ago the Office of the President

Malawi rolling out national ID project, introducing biometric voter registry for 2019 elections

In an effort to conduct trouble-free elections, the Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) revealed that a biometrics-based voter registry will be used, with data provided by the National Registration Bureau (NRB). MEC will collaborate with NRB during voter registration to build the electoral roll from the National ID database rather than conducting a biometric voter registration process on its own. The Nyasa Times reported that MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah said, “We are working with National Registration Bureau.

Indian government may allow citizens to use Aadhaar ID for income tax return

The Indian government is considering introducing a new option that would allow individuals who do not have a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card to use an Aadhaar card, according to Economic Times. The Ratan Watal panel report on promoting digital payments recommended that the government follow the practices of developed countries, such as the United States, in order to increase its tax base. “The committee studied that in countries like the USA, the tax return can be filed with social