India’s ambitious UID (Unique Identification Card) project has been underway for quite some time now. Announced back in February 2009, the first of the cards were launched in October 2010 in a tribal village in Maharashtra. With more than a billion cards yet to be issued, is obviously a task of enormous proportions. The UID project has been entrusted to an organization called UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) spearheaded by former Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani. The aim of the project is to have a readily accessible database of all citizens of the country that can be retrieved when needed. All citizens would be issued a unique identity card with a unique number. The project is had been christened Aadhaar.While, prima facie, the objective looks accomplished a number of people have started raising concerns about the UID project. A facet of the project is its enrollment process which is biometric in nature. This would involve taking records of fingerprints and iris patters of each individual and storing them in the national database. This has been questioned by experts like JT D’souza, a Mumbai-based forensic expert. According to him, it is extremely easy to forge fingerprint and fool biometric devices. In fact, in a demo he claims that it takes just some wax and a tube of Fevicol to “breach” biometric security ring.
Here’s a video in which he has explained how easily this can be done.
After watching it, we wonder if the entire UID project needs to be re-looked and some modifications made to make it totally secure. What do you think?