While India is conducting what is probably the largest census in history, the country's unique identification authority Aadhaar/UIDAI is working on making that data usable. It has released version one of its Aadhaar Authentication Application Programming Interface (API), which contain API data format, protocol and security specifications. The way it will work is: a user's Aadhar number, alongwith other data (including biometric information) will be submitted to the Central Identities Data Repository for verification: authentication will only be in the form of a 'yes' or no response, and no personal identity will be released. The first Aadhar numbers would be issued between August 2010 and February 2011, and over five years, the UIDAI intends to issue 600 million UIDs. Aadhaar will support authentication using multiple factors, including demographic data, biometric data, PIN, OTP, or combinations of these. Initially it will support only exact authentication, though later it is expected to provide fuzzy matching as well. It appears that biometric authentication is going to be a key component of aadhaar authentication - one or many fingerprints and/or iris impressions along with the Aadhaar number, and this will help reduce the need for carrying other data, such as a passport, drivers license or a ration card. For example, a bank account may be opened using both demographic including address and biometric information, but after verification, once the bank account is opened, bank may use only the aadhaar number and biometric combinations to authenticate the resident for daily transactions. Biometric Barrier & Other…
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