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Government Privacy Your Rights Online Politics Technology

India Scans a Billion Irises In Interest of National Security (thestack.com) 50

An anonymous reader writes: The Indian government is using a loophole to fast-track legislation to allow federal agencies access to its database of 1 billion individuals' finger prints and iris scans. The Aadhaar database was set up in 2009 to 'streamline' benefit payments and help control fraud. The programme claims to have saved an estimated 150 billion rupees (approx. $2.2 billion) between 2014-2015. Privacy advocates are expressing fears that an approval in parliament could facilitate a police state, with data used to silence individuals considered as potential security threats, as well as presenting an enormous risk if breached.
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India Scans a Billion Irises In Interest of National Security

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  • It is kind of funny that in place that the cow is sacred the people are being tagged and indexed like cattle.
    • How does this compare with the USA's "Real ID" project, which will essentially require a passport or federally-approved ID (no more drivers' licenses) to travel domestically by 2020.

      https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-and-you-rumor-control
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Let's see, one is legislative response to certain localities violating federal immigration law and giving identical identification cards to non-citizens as citizens, the other is a national database of biometric data on their entire population.

        Are you really that stupid?

        Also, your link [dhs.gov] does not say what you think it does.

        • "...the other is a national database of biometric data on their entire population."

          Hardly. India has over 1, 3 billion citizens, the database apparently only 1 billion.

          http://www.worldometers.info/w... [worldometers.info]

        • >> your link [dhs.gov] does not say what you think it does.

          At that site I read that "You can continue to use your license to fly in the U.S." only applies to people whose licenses are from certain states once the years 2018 and 2020 hit. That's the focus of the graphic on the top of that page.

          Even before that, people from "bad" states like IL and others are already using their passports to get onto federal installations (e.g., military bases), so I'd imagine that passports (which many travellers alre
      • require a passport or federally-approved ID (no more drivers' licenses) to travel domestically by 2020.

        I thought it was this year unless your state got an temporary exemption/reprieve as there was a huge dust-up late last and the year beginning of this year in my state because we didn't have one and have a law that prevents us from implementing the requirements.

      • by mrops ( 927562 )

        It is antsy for sure, just had a trip to India last month, a mere tourist visa for 30 days and they scanned for my finger prints.

        Here I am at immigration counter asked to scan my finger prints. I don't know what this data will be used for. I don't know how it will be protected. I don't know what will happen if I say no.

        I spent about $10k for the trip, should I say no and be returned back on next flight or just scan my finger print and hope for the best. Hell, even my 5 year old had to scan his prints, what

  • by wkwilley2 ( 4278669 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @08:50AM (#51707245)

    Good luck changing your retinal structure when the database gets hacked.

  • While this seems like a terrible idea for more than one reason, I guess a 1 billion seems like a healthy sample size to test how well these techniques actually work. In addition, you can test some theories about how random finger print whorls actually are.
  • So lets just say some hacker is able to breach this system and steal all of their identities....Can we then in turn buy all of this information or the dark web? If so I am there, I'm so calling them and telling them they are late for payments.
  • Lamp oil? Rope? Bombs? Iris scans? It's yours, my friend... as long as you've got 150 billion rupees!

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @09:05AM (#51707335)
    The Netherlands scans one billion tulips!
  • Gee, I feel so much better about the direction the United States is going, knowing that 4 times as many people in India are facing the same things we are.

    ..wait, NO, I'M NOT, it's all BULLSHIT. FUCK this dystopian future we're facing! This shit has to STOP!

    MEMO TO GOVERNMENT ASSHOLES ALL OVER THE WORLD: Stop spying on us! Stop sticking your little brown noses into our lives! FUCK THE FUCK OFF!
    • saying "brown nose" has been flagged and considered as racist.




      /sarc
      in case it wasn't obvious
      • /sarc

        Yeah sure but I'm going to make it clear anyway: 'brown nose' in reference to nosy government types that have their noses up everyones' ass, not 'brown' as in ethnicity.

        • The sad thing is having to put /sarc.

          Too many of the faux outraged out there.

          -- The preceding is my opinion. Don't like it? Get your own.
  • now all your eyes belong to us.
  • Is this the sequel to the James Bond movie, "For Your Eyes Only".
  • individuals considered as potential security threats

    a.k.a. the citizens

  • They're just doing the needful.
  • Wrong title (Score:4, Informative)

    by gopla ( 597381 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2016 @11:39AM (#51708575)

    It is not in interest of national security, rather in interest of preventing leakages in government subsidies. The program is voluntary, if you don't want subsidy don't enrol yourself, as simple as that.

    Second part is that the program is running since 2009 without any legal backing or any government legislation. Present government is try to regulate the database and limit the usage of the collected data to just its intended purpose.

    In spite of all safeguards, just like any other database this may also be breached but now there is a punishment in unlawful usage, which was missing till today even though data was already collected since 2009. And, really government cannot use this database for any of nefarious purpose as it just links names with fingerprints and Iris data, without any record of your caste, religion, mother tongue or even citizenship status.

  • My Indian friends tell me it's not the general population of India that is corrupt. It's their government.

    Where else can you find gang raping done by police departments?
    • by gopla ( 597381 )

      My Indian friends tell me it's not the general population of India that is corrupt. It's their government.

      It is government and few elite that are corrupt. But in India few means a lot, they control whole government machinery from top to bottom.

      With UID, targeted subsidy will reach really needy people directly eliminating many source of leakages. Things could have continued as it is, but this is an instance of government acting under pressure and responding to public aspirations for better future for their

  • They only want access this one time for this one investigation.

    Orwell is looking pretty prescient today: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks.

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