What’s the news: As many as six countries by July 27 responded to an Aadhaar-like unique identity programme extended by the International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru (IIIT-B), reported Economic Times (ET). The institute developed an open-source foundational identity platform called the Modular Open-Source Identity Platform (MOSIP). It is currently used by Sri Lanka, Morocco, the Philippines, Guinea, Ethiopia and the Togolese Republic to provide digital identities to their citizens. As per the report, West African nation Sierra Leone will also be joining this list. Further, it said Uganda, Nigeria, Samoa, and Tunisia are some of the other countries that showed interest in MOSIP. Why it matters: India’s privacy experts have voiced concern about digital identity systems like Aadhaar in the backdrop of absent national data protection laws. While some countries like Sri Lanka, Morocco, Philippines do have data protection laws, the use of MOSIP in countries that do not have such protection laws raises concerns like threat to privacy, government surveillance and profiling of citizens. How many are registered under MOSIP? So far, 71 million citizens in the Philippines have been registered using MOSIP. Of these, 50 million have been issued identity cards. Similarly, 150,000 million citizens out of 36 million population in Morocco have been issued unique identity numbers. Officials also told ET that Sierra Leone signed an MoU with IIIT-B on July 21 for MOSIP on a pilot basis. During this time, the pilot size will have a couple of thousand citizens out of a population of…
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