India's Aadhaar doesn't pose any privacy issue: Bill Gates
India's Aadhaar technology doesn't pose any privacy issue as it's just a bio-ID verification scheme, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the World Bank to take Aadhaar approach to other countries as it's worth emulating, Gates said. Infosys founder Nandan Nilekani, considered the chief architect of Aadhaar, was consulting and helping the World Bank on the project. Here's more.
The 62-year-old multi-billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist said, "The benefits of Aadhaar are very high." More than a billion people in India have enrolled in Aadhaar, the world's largest biometric ID system. "Countries should adopt that (Aadhaar) approach because the quality of governance has a lot to do with how quickly countries are able to grow their economy and empower their people," Gates said.
It is believed that several countries, including some from India's neighborhood, have approached New Delhi for assistance in this matter (Aadhaar approach). "The individual applications that use Aadhaar, you have to look and see what's been stored and who has access to that information. In the case of the financial bank account I think it's handled very well," Gates said.
Observing that Aadhaar was started before Prime Minister Narendra Modi came into office, Gates said that it was very much to his credit that he was willing to embrace it. "I'm both good friend and an admirer of Nandan Nilekani," Gates said.
In his lecture on "Technology for Transformation" organized by NITI Aayog on November 2016, Gates had said that Aadhaar is something that had never been done by any government before, not even in a rich country. Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number for Indians, based on their biometric and demographic data. The data is collected by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).