From: Inside Story

A massive breach of privacy in India?

The Indian government has controversial plans to link more than a billion ID cards with mobile phones and bank accounts.

The world’s largest biometric identity card system, Aadhaar, is in India, where more than one billion Indians are registered by a unique 12-digit number. Government officials say the Aadhaar ID system reduces identity theft, corruption and bureaucracy. 

If the government gets its way, sharing these ID cards will soon be required to access services provided by mobile phone companies and banks by the end of March next year.

Opponents say requiring citizens to share this information with an increasing number of service providers is a taste of “Big Brother” that violates everyone’s privacy. There have been security breaches in the past where data on the government’s databases has been hacked and leaked.

Some have taken the government to the Supreme Court, where one of the Constitution benches will be delivering a verdict by the end of the month.

Judges are being asked: why should Indians give the government information in a neat little package? What if the system were to be hacked?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Sanjay Kapoor, Editor, Hard News magazine

Alok Prasanna Kumar, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy

Robin Tombs, Founder of digital identity service Yoti