Concerns over Aadhaar security ‘misinformation campaign’: Nilekani

Terming concerns over security of data collected for Aadhaar enrollement as “targeted misinformation campaign”, Nandan Nilekani who was the chief architect for rolling out the initiative said the system is completely secure.

“It is targeted misinformation campaign…There are no grounds for it. It is pure misinformation. For Aadhaar, the data is encrypted at source. When you enroll, the data is encrypted and stored in a disk…operator has no control over that,” >Mr. Nilekani, who is also the former CEO of Infosys, explained during an interview with The Hindu.

He further added that only the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) can read the encrypted data and that too only in the system. “No human can read it. The data is encrypted at the highest 2048 bit encryption, which takes 1000s of years to crack and it is what the government notifies it as minimum security standard.”

Mr. Nilekani also talked about >other questions raised in the Supreme Court such as whether or not individuals are making an informed choice when they are giving out information about themselves, including biometrics.

“When you choose to go for Aadhaar and give biometrics of course it is an informed choice,” Mr. Nikelani said.

He reasoned when a person travels to America, for example, they give their biometrics. When one uses an iPad, information about them, including biometrics, goes to the Apple system. Similar is the case with Gmail, they have access to all mails.

“So person makes a conscious choice that while I understand that these things are there, I am still doing it because it is beneficial. Aadhaar is like that, you are getting a number which ultimately benefits you in many ways,” he added.

In a new book titled ‘Rebooting India’, which he has co-authored along with his UIDAI colleague Viral Shah, the two make a pitch for using technology to help > realize the dreams of a billion people. The books suggest that the government should have 10 startups with headed by domain experts to redesign the system.

According to Mr.Nilekani and Mr.Shah, if ideas given by them in the book are implemented, each will lead to a saving of minimum of Rs.10,000 crore a year.


“It is fundamentally it is saying that if India has to meet its challenges, if a billion people's aspiration have to be met, business as usual will not deliver. Billion people are demanding something everyday... they want better life, better jobs, better education.

If you don't satisfy that you will have all sorts of distortions and in some sense all these issues of caste, religion and reservation is because there is not enough opportunities as the system is not delivering,” Mr.Nilekani said.

He added that the only way is to really dramatically re-engineer the system and that can only be done by innovative startups.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 9:13:35 AM |

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