back to article Indian authorities issue conflicting advice about biometric ID card security

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has backtracked on advice about how best to secure the "Aadhaar" national identity cards that enable access to a range of government and financial serivces. UIDAI promotes the cards as "a single source offline/online identity verification" for tasks ranging from passport …

  1. imanidiot Silver badge

    Sounds like similar issues to any other form of (photo-)ID. Personally I also use a cover on my passport when travelling that covers about half the ID info. Yes I've had hotels and such make a fuss when asking to make a copy, but when holding firm it's never actually been a problem. There's just too many ways a photocopy of an ID-card/passport or the info on it can be misused by nefarious persons.

  2. Allan George Dyer

    Could they be less specific?

    "exercise normal prudence"

    Is there any phrase they could have used that would convey less information about what they expected people to do?

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Re: Could they be less specific?

      They did their best, but are always looking to improve. If you have a less specific phrase to suggest, they will certainly consider it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > the biometrics captured to create citizens' records have sometimes been used for multiple individuals.

    Well, it's one way to cut costs.

    1. You aint sin me, roit

      Cutting costs

      When I was working on similar cards a decade ago it was a design requiment that it's not secure... most terminals/readers out in the countryside couldn't support the security, the costs were prohibitive.

      The cards might have been a glimpse of a utopian future but in reality were just "papers". If a little more durable.

    2. Dvon of Edzore

      Twins and triplets come to mind. As does the term click-bait. But perhaps the queue was excessive and $worker was only trying to help speed things along.

      If referring to fingerprints and the like, please note where tasks are heavily mechanized, the double amputee is not without precedent. Seemingly identical information is not always the result of malice.

  4. IGotOut Silver badge

    A statement to fill you with confidence..

    "adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy”

    Yeah it's OK,should be fine, just about good enough, it'll do.....

    Upcoming statement:

    " We take security seriously and only a small percentage of "customers" were affected".

  5. adam 40 Silver badge

    Indian Photo ID scam

    Reminds me of when I went to visit our branch in Pune, we never had photo ID's in the UK.

    First day I had a sweaty queueing up to get onto the compound and sign in at the gatehouse.

    But I noticed everyone with ID's just waved them at the guard and walked straight in.

    So during the day I cobbled together a company ID and printed it out on the colour printer.

    Stuck it in a spare visitor's badge holder - job done! No more sweating buckets and straight in.

    Some of my Indian colleagues thought it was a little cheeky I think :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indian Photo ID scam

      I won't go into details, but I entered a country (multiple times) with somebody else's ID. Basically only one of us had a visa so we all shared his passport. That he was Asian and most of the rest of us Europeans did not seem to trouble the immigration guys in the least.

      I also nearly left a different country on someone else's passport, a woman twice my age that I didn't know at all. At some point she must have noticed and gone back to the immigration people who eventually found me at the boarding queue.

  6. First Light

    Very loose security

    Although it's some years ago, I'm not sure how much more secure it is now, it only cost 500 rupees to pay for illegal access to the Aadhar system. The journalist who broke the story was charged with a crime and it took three years for authorities to investigate and drop the case.

  7. Lars Silver badge

    "we never had photo ID's in the UK."

    I think you need one entering any foreign country though, like a passport, any colour, to day.

    And you have photo ID cards in Britain too, since at least 20 years ago.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

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