Bill Gates, a few weeks back committed to the goal of spreading Aadhaar to the world. This idea seems like a terrible idea coated under the cover of good idea. Let’s see how –
The primary aim of Aadhaar to ensure the poorest of the citizens has the most gain from the efficiencies that strong and fast identity authentication offices by improving public services, payments, credit and healthcare. Such efficiencies have been achieved by creating one big, vulnerable database containing more than a billion people’s biometric identifiers.
Since the premise of Aadhaar is correct, the Indian Government is ignoring the flaws and shutting down public conversation. Bill Gates Foundation wants to globalize Aadhaar for the world’s social welfare policy makers, including the World Bank and Gates Foundation. They want to imitate a system that has barely reached version 1.0 and is already showing serious architectural flaws could be serious policy malpractice.
In theory, Aadhaar is indeed one base for a society wide digital infrastructure. Digital society requires reliable means of quickly and inexpensively asserting and confirming individual identity. The approach Aadhaar takes appears to be elegant and effective: collect everyone’s social and biometric identifiers (name, address, fingerprint, retinal data, and eventually genomic sequence data), put them in one great big single database and provide a network access protocol to that database.
But this “one base for everything” approach contains both an architectural fallacy and a barrel full of unintended consequences. No reasonable evaluation of risks incident to security compromise and identity data loss has occurred. Although, Aadhaar’s proponents have simply insisted that its datastore will never be hacked or compromised, despite the overwhelming evidence that no data system permanently and successful resists intrusion.
Aadhaar is presenting many other operating flaws. Errors in biometric data acquisition in the field have left individuals who should be Aadhaar’s most important beneficiaries. Leakage in database is occurring on a significant scale. Furthermore, reports of false Aadhaar card scams are so frequent.
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