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Database To Collect 1.2 Billion Identities

BIOMETRICS—INDIA

September 6, 2011

The New York Times reports on India's creation of the world's largest biometric database. Aadhaar, as the project is called, is collecting the biometric data of India's 1.2 billion citizens. In addition to iris and fingerprint scanning, Aadhaar is collecting individuals' names, birth dates, gender and addresses. Each individual is then assigned a 12-digit number for identity verification using handheld devices that are connected to a mobile phone network, the report states. Privacy advocates have expressed concern that the system could potentially violate citizens' civil liberties. Meanwhile, a representative of Aadhaar said that the project "is a road that in some sense connects every individual to the state." (Registration may be required to access this story.)   
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