As the Indian government moves forward with its plans to provide all its citizens with a Unique Identification (UID) number, the biometric authentication behind the system will mean creating the world’s largest biometric database covering the data of over a billion people, according to a BBC News article.
Further, officials plan on having the database stored and secured online enabling for quick and easy authentication whenever necessary.
As providing a reliable means of identification for the country’s poor has been an issue in the past, identifying how many will actually be involved in the database has been a bit of a barrier to the planning of the database already as well. Some of the various lists Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, is utilizing include the database of Indian passport holders, public distribution system cards for food for the poor, the list of cooking gas consumers, income tax payers, account holders in public and private banks, mobile phone consumers and owners of election cards taking into account that many of these people will be on many of the lists and databases.
Nilekani is careful to point out that the poor are a very direct target of this program as the creation of their biometrically backed UID number will allow for them to have reliable forms of identification. The UID numbers, which will not be ID cards in and of themselves, but accompany a number of personal forms of identification, ar4e expected to be rolled out across India by 2014.
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