Over a billion Indian citizens may be vulnerable to identity theft and intrusions of privacy after a newspaper sting uncovered a security breach in the country’s vast biometric database, which contains the personal data of almost every citizen.
The Tribune newspaper said its reporters were able to access names, email addresses, phone numbers and postal codes by typing in 12-digit unique identification numbers of people in the government’s database, after paying an individual about $8. For another $5, the newspaper said, the individual offered reporters software to print out unique identification cards, called Aadhaar cards, that can be used to access various government services including fuel subsidies and free school meals.
The individual was part of a group that had gained access to the database through former workers who were initially tasked with making the cards, the Tribune reported.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Vidhi Doshi