The govt wants to make your phone Aadhaar-enabled

Man Hands Phone

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is looking to make your smartphone Aadhaar-enabled so you don’t have to drag your feet to an office to authenticate your identity or access government services. The body’s CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey claims this could be the first time something like this has been attempted in the world.

According to the UIDAI’s plan, the chips of Aadhaar-ready handsets will be encrypted though a key to make sure there’s no information leakage. The devices are supposed to be connected to the Aadhaar server, allowing it to instantly authenticate fingerprint and iris scans.

Pandey has already met with senior executives of brands like Google, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and Micromax to make the UIDAI’s vision a reality. He told the Economic Times that the initial response from them was positive and they would have to consult their headquarters before moving forward with the idea.

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However, an industry executive claims that companies like Apple and Google would be wary of sending fingerprint and iris data over unsecure networks. The former is famous for its iron-clad privacy rules and reluctance to open up its OS to any external body.

Pandey on his part rebuked this by stating that the solution to the issue is a registered device. He asserted that the encryption key will make sure no one will be able to decrypt and reuse the data passed along the Aadhaar servers. He also pointed out that the laptops used for capturing biometric information have such a key and there have been no incidents of data getting leaked.

While most manufacturers declined to comment on the development, a Samsung India spokesperson said that its Galaxy Tab Iris is the only product in the country to already have Aadhaar-friendly technology in-built.