ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Aadhaar Failures: A Tragedy of Errors

Several instances of practical difficulties that people across India have faced in accessing welfare schemes show the magnitude of the problems inherent in the Aadhaar project.

India's Data Protection Framework Will Need to Treat Privacy as a Social and Not Just an Individual Good

The idea that technological innovations may compete with privacy of individuals assumes that there is social and/or economic good in allowing unrestricted access to data. However, it must be remembered that data is potentially a toxic asset, if it is not collected, processed, secured and shared in the appropriate way.

Overlooking the UIDAI Process

A response to the rebuttal by Hans Mathews and Pranesh Prakash to UIDAI's "Erring on Aadhaar" (EPW, 12 March 2016)

Glaring Errors in UIDAI's Rebuttal

The article questions Unique Identification Authority of India’s response, which found “serious mathematical errors” in “Flaws in the UIDAI Process” (EPW,12 March 2016).

Request for Specifics: Rebuttal to UIDAI

Responding to the Unique Identification Authority of India’s article that found “serious mathematical errors” in “Flaws in the UIDAI Process” (EPW 12 March 2016), the main mathematical argument used to arrive at the number of duplicates in the biometric database is explained.

Flaws in the UIDAI Process

The accuracy of biometric identification depends on the chance of a false positive: the probability that the identifiers of two persons will match. Individuals whose identifiers match might be termed duplicands. When very many people are to be identified success can be measured by the (low) proportion of duplicands. The Government of India is engaged upon biometrically identifying the entire population of India. An experiment performed at an early stage of the programme has allowed us to estimate the chance of a false positive: and from that to estimate the proportion of duplicands. For the current population of 1.2 billion the expected proportion of duplicands is 1/121, a ratio which is far too high.
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