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Biometric IDs For Every Indian Citizen 166

wiedzmin writes "This month, officials from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), armed with fingerprinting machines, iris scanners and cameras hooked to laptops, will fan out across the towns and villages of southern Andhra Pradesh state in the first phase of the project whose aim is to give every Indian a lifelong Unique ID (UID) number for 'anytime, anywhere' biometric authentication. While enrolling with the UIDAI may be voluntary, other agencies and service providers might require a UID number in order to transact business. Usha Ramanathan, a prominent legal expert who is attached to the Center for the Study of Developing Societies in the national capital, said that, 'taken to its logical limit, the UID project will make it impossible, in a couple of years, for an ordinary citizen to undertake a simple task such as traveling within the country without a UID number.' Next step, tying that UID number and biometric information to to their RIM BlackBerry PIN number."
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Biometric IDs For Every Indian Citizen

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  • by bsharp8256 ( 1372285 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:15PM (#33516298)
    Having a Social Security number doesn't prevent me from traveling anywhere within the United States, and it isn't tied to my phone number. I can also buy things without giving that number to the clerk, things the TFS hints at in the future.
  • by cosm ( 1072588 ) <> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:21PM (#33516330)

    The difference seems to be that this number is tied to a fingerprint, iris scan, and facial photograph. That's a lot scarier than my social security number currently is.

    A) Not trolling. Mods, get your shit together. This [] is trolling (NSFW).

    B) Reply is correct in that, yes, a difference exist; the country is requiring biometric information for unique identification. Although some could argue picture, birth cert. etc for a SSN card are similar, this is one step further. The summary (FTA) makes the point that if this UID become a ubiquitous requirement, well, your biometric identity will be stored by the government. This could be a good thing. It could be bad. Who knows. I do know that I do now trust American authorities with my biometric identity; we all know how tight their data retention and security policies are.

    With that said, coming to a country near you. Minority Report!

  • by cosm ( 1072588 ) <> on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:25PM (#33516354)
    I'll do it for you, its a great karma whoring setup (and might get *real* karma for posting from King James, who knows):

    And [the Antichrist] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

    And that no man might buy or sell, save [except] he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. Rev 13:16-18 KJV

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @10:27PM (#33516368)

    So India is home to the "best and brightest" huh? This proves the country is populated by idiots and mindless drones willing to voluntarily enslave themselves to the government masters. May a thousand plagues beseige you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:30PM (#33516816)
    He probably earns 140 times the relative income of the average human. Local industry does play a big part in consumerism but it isn't that large. Wealthy people everywhere indulge.
  • Re:Mark of the Beast (Score:3, Informative)

    by zippthorne ( 748122 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:37PM (#33516858) Journal

    If your Social Security Number is your "true name" then you told this preacher the most powerful part, quite casually.

    The first three digits are location. Anyone doing a tiny bit of research can find that out about you, and the next two digits are "lot number." This can be guessed pretty accurately by knowing the time of birth. If you can bracket the birth date with others' whose lot numbers you know, you can determine it as well.

    That leaves four digits to uniquely and "secretly" identify you. Of which you gave up three without any prodding....

  • by painehope ( 580569 ) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @11:49PM (#33516920)

    Try dealing with insurance companies, buying a house, even getting a simple loan on a used car that you'll pay off in 6 months. Things like that are interconnected due to your SSN being used to track you and your "credit score" (an arbitrary number that isn't affected much by any good credit actions, or payment of past debts, but is heavily penalized for the slightest failure to pay anything; I've literally had a home loan turned down because I didn't pay off the last 5 dollars on a loan for a laptop due to a billing error). While this state of affairs may or may not be the desired result of the decision to assign SSNs to citizens, it still causes more harm than good. Anyone who gets ahold of your SSN can damage you in many ways. For example, I recently went to the ER at my local hospital. I got into an argument with the head nurse about whether or not I could go outside and smoke a cigarette and wait for the pain medication to take effect before they (with my assistance, since I don't permit anyone to work on an injury that I can do myself) cleaned and dressed the gunshot wound. So instead of getting treatment, I was told that I was "discharged" upon my return from my cigarette break.

    And yet they'll be hounding me for money for services rendered, despite the fact that they did nothing except look at the wound, go "yep, you've been shot, the bullet exited your body, we need to give you some pain medicine and dress that wound" (since I'd already stopped the bleeding and all that before I got to the ER). They'll try to bill my insurance company and try to bill me, despite the fact that they did nothing other than provide me with a room for an hour. If they didn't have my SSN, they would have a much harder time doing that, since my name is relatively common, I didn't give them my correct address, and I can tell my insurance company to deny the claim.

  • by kromagnon ( 1408869 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:04AM (#33517290)
    I know it's old but... India Sleepwalks Into a Surveillance Society []
    "ZeroPaid has a fascinating roundup of news stories surrounding the latest surveillance laws passed in India, including a first-hand account of someone writing from inside India. The legislation in question is the Information Technology Act's amendment bill 2006, which was recently passed in the Indian parliament. Things you can't do with the new legislation include surfing for news in Bollywood and looking up porn on the internet. The legislation also allows all transmissions over the internet to be monitored for any form of lawbreaking and permits a sub-inspector to break into your house to make sure you aren't browsing porn on your computer."
    Democracy is null and void for the moment.
  • by BangaIorean ( 1848966 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @03:35AM (#33517946)

    Basically BG is classic "database nation" in the way UK and USA geeks keep scaremongering about. And you know what - my privacy there is infringed LESS than in the UK or USA. Much LESS.

    yeah, all this scaremongering is silly. All it needs is proper implementation and security.

    Also, it is India we are talking about. Does anyone around here believe that a database of this size written in India will work?

    If you take your head outta your ass you'll see that most large databases in the world today, are indeed implemented by Indians. You see larger number of crap Indian techies because there are soooo many Indian techies in total.

  • by ThoreauHD ( 213527 ) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @04:48AM (#33518274)

    They don't give a shit about Christ or the Anti-Christ or the mark of the beast. All they care about are cows and rubbing burnt cow shit on their foreheads every so often at Temple.

    All other interests are either in IT gadget's or what's the best weapon to kill a muslim.

    This is a non-issue for them. I'm sure they'll think it's fun, until they realize their new leader is muslim and surprisingly has every tool necessary to exterminate them. But let's let them figure that out on their own. I'm sure they'll be fine.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun