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Skype can verify identity for govt services says Microsoft


Microsoft has offered case scenarios of how its VOIP calling service Skype can authenticate identity using the Aadhaar database to the government. The company said that it already supports iris authentication on Windows 10. Bhaskar Pramanik, Microsoft’s India chairman said that Skype could especially be used to authenticate users who access government services.

Microsoft begun working on a pilot to integrate Skype with the Aadhaar database this February. At the time, the company was testing if Aadhaar could be used to identify users for video calls with government organisations and institutions. Additional details on the authentication are not available at the moment.

In March 2015, Vodafone had launched a new pilot project in Kolkata where it would use Aadhaar verification to issue new prepaid and postpaid connections. Last month, major telcos including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea started deploying Aadhaar based eKYC verifications for mobile connections in India, following a notification issued by the Department of Telecom.

In November 2014, Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister, said that “Aadhaar accounts, and seeded all other benefits to aadhaar accounts: housing, pensions, agriculture loans. There’s enormous savings on the PDS, with all bogus removed. We’re able to save Rs 700 crores every year.”

The Aadhaar Bill 2016 was passed in the Parliament about 6 months ago. The bill was was introduced as a money bill, which exclusively contains provisions for imposition and abolition of taxes, for appropriation of moneys out of a consolidated fund.

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DigiLocker and Aadhaar authentication

Earlier this month, the government said that driving licenses, registration cards, insurance details and other vehicle related documents could be issued and saved digitally on the government’s National DigiLocker cloud storage system. DigiLocker was originally launched by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology in February 2015. Every user gets 10 MB of dedicated free personal storage space which is linked to their Aadhaar details.

Aadhaar card numbers: Overall the UIDAI claims to have generated 103.5 crore cards and opened over 23,000 Permanent Enrolment Centres (PECs) across the country as of August 2016. A comprehensive list of PECs is available here.

Also read:
– Privacy concerns in the Aadhaar Act, 2016
– The Aadhaar disruption in Rajasthan – not in a good way: Scroll
– Aadhaar Act is now operational and has a legal framework: report

Check out our Aadhaar watch series and our Aadhaar coverage.

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Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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