The Telangana government will soon create a unified database of citizens, which will contain all the data collected by different government departments. According to a report in The Hindu, which first reported the development, the unified database will facilitate revival of data which the state has already collected from the individuals — such as Aadhaar, PAN, Voter ID, Ration card, drivers' license and so on. Telangana Chief Secretary S.K.Joshi suggested that there should be a common database from which any government department could retrieve the information related to a citizen, said official sources. The database is designed to integrate different forms of data and personally identifiable documents produced by the government in one place. The state planning department proposed to have the unified database within three months. Such a database is a natural extension of the information government services already collect from citizens, and putting them in one place and coordinating them makes sense from the point of view of better administration. However, this comes with a significant privacy and security risk to citizens – especially when the accountability on who can access what information, and for what purposes, is not clear. This is, however, not Telangana's first attempt to build a comprehensive profile of its citizens. Telangana's experiments with citizens' database In 2017, the Hyderabad police built its own central database — ‘Integrated People Information Hub’ (IPIH) which offers a “360-degree view” of citizens, according to then police commissioner M. Mahender Reddy as reported in Telangana Today. The database…
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