NandanNilekani on UID Controversy

Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman NandanNilekani discusses concerns surrounding India’s unique ID program. UIDAI will assign each citizen a unique identifying number, the world’s first online ID system that can be verified anywhere. But legal experts and advocates have said the plan doesn’t provide enough privacy safeguards. Nilekani says that privacy is “something you trade for convenience” and that once people understand the plan’s convenience, “they will understand what they are giving up is very trivial.” Although biometrics are collected (name, age, date of birth and sex), the data is anonymized, not shared with private companies and no one has access to it. In the future, Nilekani sees each Indian citizen having three “empowering” numbers: Aadhaar number -the number with which you can confirm who you are to anybody; mobile number, and bank account number.

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