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Aadhaar officials say no to request for biometrics in Delhi murder investigation

Aadhaar officials say no to request for biometrics in Delhi murder investigation
 

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the federal agency behind the biometric Aadhaar ID number program, told the High Court of Delhi that its fingerprint database cannot be used in a murder and robbery investigation, citing technical and legal limitations.

A jeweler in New Delhi’s Adarsh Nagar neighborhood was robbed and killed in 2018. While fingerprints were collected, they produced no matches on Delhi’s police biometrics database. Photographs of the suspected murderer captured on CCTV likewise came up dry in a facial recognition database.

That is what led investigators to the UIDAI.

But, as Republic World reports, UIDAI officials told the High Court that they are not permitted to open their biometric database to police.

They say they are prevented by the Aadhaar Act, which limits the biometric ID system to just creating unique identity numbers for individuals. Forensics investigations are off limits.

The officials also say that “no Aadhaar data can be shared by any individual or entity without the consent of the resident” on privacy grounds.

The Hindustan Times reports that there is legal precedent to support rebuffing investigators.

The Supreme Court has overruled the Bombay High Court, preventing the use of Aadhaar biometric data for forensics investigation.

Then there is the fact that the UIDAI is incapable of performing one-to-many fingerprint comparisons, according to the Hindustan Times.

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