The Stream - Aadhaar: The world’s largest biometric identification system

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The Stream - Aadhaar: The world’s largest biometric identification system
1.15 billion. That's how many people the Indian government says are now enrolled in its biometric identification system, Aadhaar. The programme aims to make the provision of government services more efficient, while providing ID cards for hundreds of millions of Indians who previously had none.

Critics note that while the programme was always supposed to be voluntary, there have been recent moves to make it mandatory for certain services - including receiving pensions, food rations and free school lunches. And for those who already have an Aadhaar number, it is now compulsory to use it while filing taxes.

Concerns have also been raised about the strength of Aadhaar's digital infrastructure after multiple instances of people's identities and personal data being leaked. Other errors in the system, such as biometric authentication failures due to weak internet connectivity, often prevent poor families from getting welfare entitlements they need.

The Stream - Aadhaar: The world’s largest biometric identification system
So, is Aadhaar doing more harm than good? And is India's digital infrastructure equipped to handle the size and scale of the programme?
Follow The Stream and join Al Jazeera’s social media community: This episode’s story: http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201706142203-0025454 FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AJStream TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AJStream GOOGLE+: http://google.com/+TheStream **************************************************** On The Stream: Controversy continues in India as government pushes to make ID cards mandatory for services.
Thumbnail: A man gets his eyes scanned as part of India’s Aadhar programme on April 12, 2013 in New Delhi, India. (GETTY/PRIYANKA PARASHAR)

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