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UIDAI enters collaboration with World Bank to export Aadhaar digital ID architecture

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has entered a collaboration with the World Bank and United Nations to deploy the Aadhaar digital ID architecture for systems outside India, The Economic Times reports, as the authority also looks to bolster mobile face biometrics usage.

Speaking at a virtual event organized by the Payments Council of India, UIDAI CEO Saurabh Garg said the organization is also establishing a dedicated advisory board to help deploy Aadhaar across different sectors.

Some of these include enrolments, authentication, and customer relationship management.

In addition, Garg confirmed the UIDAI is currently looking for additional partners from India who can help it in exporting Aadhaar-style digital ID systems overseas.

“In the Aadhaar ecosystem, we realized we need to partner with others outside the UIDAI internal system. In the past, we had people from the industry.”

During the online session, Garg also announced UIDAI is planning to add more biometrics modalities to Aadhaar’s current fingerprint and iris recognition technologies.

“Apart from the finger, we already have iris but iris is more cumbersome to use and it requires special devices. That’s why we are looking at facial authentication with due precaution.”

The UIDAI already supports facial recognition through specialized devices, but is looking at deploying Aadhaar’s facial authentication capabilities on mobile devices.

Aadhaar’s protections for digital identities, or lack thereof, have sparked multiple concerns and complaints from privacy advocates. It is argued the biometric systems may be used to force vote suppression on individuals as well as generally being deleterious for privacy due to a severe lack of regulations.

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