India’s national biometric ID program will soon extend from cradle to grave, with the country’s Home Ministry having just announced that effective October 1st, deaths must be registered using the Aadhaar numbers of the deceased.
In other words, anyone trying to obtain a death certificate must identify the deceased using Aadhaar. If they don’t have the deceased’s Aadhaar number, they must provide government officials with a certificate attesting to that effect; false declarations will be considered legal violations with respect to the Aadhaar Act 2016 and Registration of Birth and Death Act, 1969.
The use of Aadhaar for the authentication of citizens has expanded across a range of applications in Indian society over the last couple of years, from banking to airport screening. Last summer government authorities began registering births using Aadhaar, so the program now reaches across the entire lifecycle of an Indian citizen. In announcing the death certificate expansion, government authorities framed it as a means of preventing identity fraud.
The announcement that Aadhaar will be used to register deaths comes in the same week that India’s Supreme Court hinted that a coming ruling on privacy rights with respect to Aadhaar will not imperil the ID program.
August 4, 2017 – by Alex Perala