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Legal expert speaks out against biometrics in India


Legal expert Usha Ramanathan says that biometric technology has performed poorly in many parts of India, according to a report by The Hindu.

Ramanathan, who has been monitoring the Unique Identification Authority of India project for quite some time, recently gave a presentation titled “Interrogating the UID and the National Population Register”.

“In India, we have no idea if biometrics will work or not. Two to five per cent of people do not have fingerprints that work,” Ramanathan said, referring to the Biometrics Standards Committee study using biometric technology in which it tested biometric technology on 25,000 people before it launched the project in 2009.

“It is an anti-people project. I am not willing to have a technology god to oversee me. Companies handling biometric data also have close links with intelligence agencies,” Ramanathan said.

She also pointed out that the National Population Register has broken the anti-biometric collection rule that was established in the memorandum of understanding between the Registrar General of India and UIDA.

“There is simply too much we do not know”, Ramanathan said. “The National Population Register is actually acting illegally. The executive has systematically ignored the order of the Supreme Court. Yet there is hardly any questioning and reporting in the media.”

Ramanathan also emphasized the importance of familiarizing yourself with the concept of civil disobedience when the State acts above the law. “There has never been an audit of the system. We need to destroy the system.”

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