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India

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India

India's biometric identity scheme Aadhaar, introduced in 2016, has since grown to become the world's largest biometric database, with more than 1.14 billion unique identity records. The scheme was introduced with the aim that it would improve efficiency in welfare distribution and create greater social inclusion. However the privacy and surveillance risks associated with the scheme made it controversial from the outset, and in practice its rollout and management suffered from serious flaws. These have resulted in the issuance of duplicate and fraudulent identity records, the widespread misuse of Aadhaar data by government agencies and private contractors, and the denial of basic social services to those whose identities cannot be verified through the system. As of 2018, the legality of Aadhaar is under challenge in India's Supreme Court, where the petitioners are seeking an order for the destruction of all biometrics and personal information captured between 2009-2016 on the grounds that it was collected without informed consent and may have been compromised. Read more about biometrics in India.

 

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