World’s largest ID database exposed by India government errors

  • TECH Premium
  • Tuesday, 15 May 2018

A man goes through the process of eye scanning for the Unique Identification (UID) database system, also known as Aadhaar, at a registration centre in New Delhi, India, January 17, 2018. Picture taken January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal

India’s government counts on high-tech encryption, multi-layered authentication, and even 13-feet high walls to protect the world’s largest biometric database. 

But there’s no measure that prevents careless officials at government agencies from publishing the sensitive information online, exposing citizens to fraudsters and data misuse. The official website boasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to connect all Indian villages with electricity published several residents’ 'Aadhaar’ – a unique 12-digit number along with identity and demographic details – as seen by Bloomberg last month. Access to data on the portal, including the names of villages, residents’ identity details and their photographs, was later blocked. 

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