Almost every Indian adult is now enrolled in Aadhaar, India’s national biometric ID database, according to a new report from The Economic Times.
It’s a matter of some speculation, but the numbers add up. The central government says that a little over 1.2 billion people have been enrolled in the program; meanwhile, authorities also project that India’s population this year will reach almost 1.34 billion. That has led the government to conclude that “almost every adult now has an Aadhaar”, with only about 3.5 million not yet enrolled, according to one government official.
It’s a testament to the program’s breadth, and a sign of the Indian government’s eagerness to claim success in implementing that ambitious ID program. In recent comments to the press, the country’s minister for information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, emphasized the program’s security, asserting that databases containing citizens’ biometric data “cannot be broken into even with [a] billion efforts.” The claim contrasts with various scandals concerning Aadhaar security, including reports that its enrollment software had been sold on the black market and the seemingly unintentional publication of Aadhaar data on hundreds of government websites.
Prasad also stressed the extensive reach of Aadhaar, asserting that 800 million bank accounts are now linked to Aadhaar, and that the government performs 10 million Aadhaar authentications per second.
July 16, 2018 – by Alex Perala