today’s ET carries a story that i had written a while ago. essentially, a rising number of government agencies and private companies are moving around collecting fingerprints and iris scans. you always had the UIDAI and NPR. now, you also have different states’ PDS departments, NREGS, banks and their banking correspondent companies, post offices, pension departments, other departments handling scholarships, etc. the story takes a look at the reasons why myriad departments are collecting their own biometrics. and flags concerns about the safety and security of this data.
You might also want to see this column I had written earlier about privacy in an age of biometrics.
another small online story for ET on UIDAI’s new enrolment system. this has been in the works for over four months. what do the glitches they have fixed tell you about how enrolments have been done till now?
The government’s indecision on which of its two arms should capture the biometrics of all 1.2 billion Indians is causing collateral damage. Frustrated by the issue not being resolved quickly and difficulties in the business, Wipro, one of the largest enrolment agencies empanelled with the Unique Identification Authority of India, is considering quitting the business.
It’s a frustration that other enrolment agencies empaneled with the UIDAI — ranging from small outfits with 10-odd kits to larger players like Karvy with 1,000 kits or more — share. And so, drumroll, a little story on why enrolment agencies are nervously awaiting the cabinet’s decision on who should collect biometrics — the UID? NPR? both?
as a followup to last week’s story about india’s spectacularly uncoordinated lurch towards cash transfers, my colleague vikas (dhoot) and i wrote this story about why nandan nilekani’s much-feted uidai is running into fresh opposition. opposition, interestingly, coming from an unexpected quarter — other government departments.
the complete story, here.