India is building a biometric database for 1.3 billion people — and enrollment is mandatory - LA Times
The LA Times reports: "Nearly 9 out of 10 Indians have registered, each assigned a unique
12-digit number that serves as a digital identity that can be verified
with the scan of a thumb or an eye. [...] Designed as a showcase of
India’s technological prowess — offering identity proof to the poor and
reducing waste in welfare programs — Aadhaar’s grand promises have been
muddied by controversy as the government makes enrollment mandatory for a
growing number of essential services. [...] Soon, as more private
companies use the database, it could become difficult to open a bank
account, get a new cellphone number or buy plane or train tickets
without being enrolled."
Comment: This sounds like a privacy nightmare but it's certainly an interesting experiment in government mandated identity verification. If India can make it work it will become an attractive option for many other countries.