Aadhaar Push: Govt. May Force Google, Apple To Integrate Aadhaar Based Authentication In Smartphones
Right now, Govt. of India is cajoling, convincing tech companies such as Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and others to include Aadhaar based authentication system in their smartphones and operating systems.
However, the response has been dismal as of now, as some tech companies are resisting the idea. As per reports coming in, Govt. may soon make it mandatory for all smartphone makers to include Aadhaar card based authentication system.
Considering the fact that Aadhaar has already received a legal backing, Govt. can actually enforce its usage.
Just like Indian Govt. made it mandatory for all smartphone makers to include a panic button in devices effective 2017, inclusion of Aadhaar based encrypted authentication may soon become a rule. As per a report in Mint, Nandan Nilekani, ex-Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India, has indicated that such measures can be taken to enforce Aadhaar’s expansion into smartphones, all over India.
Ajay Bhushan Pandey, who heads the Unique Identification Authority of India, recently conducted a meeting of major smartphone makers, and conveyed the message strongly. He said to all representatives: “Go to your headquarters and work this out so that we can have Aadhaar-registered devices.”
Encouraging one and all with Aadhaar’s possibilities, he said, “We are doing 5 million authentications daily, and with Aadhaar-compliant devices that number will grow exponentially. There is a solid business case for technology companies to enable Aadhaar services.”
Which Tech Companies Are Resisting Aadhaar Encryption?
As per reports coming in, Apple and Google are subtly resisting Govt.’s move to include Aadhaar authentication into the devices; and the reason is that they will lose all control over customer’s data, which is the real goldmine.
In fact, Apple decided to skip the meeting with Aadhaar chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey, although representatives from Google and other tech companies gave him a patient hearing.
Samsung is already selling a Aadhaar-friendly tablet called Galaxy Tab Iris; and Microsoft has offered to integrate Skype’s database with Aadhaar, so that users can make authenticated video calls.
Besides these two companies, none of the other have shown greater interest in embracing Aadhaar based authentication, and effectively opening up their eco-system before the Govt.
To be fair with Apple, they have even stopped US Govt. from snooping around with their loyal customers and have resisted their demand to open a back-door into iOS for tracking users. Hence, their decision to resist Aadhaar inclusion goes in line with their ideology about protecting customer’s privacy.
MD of Boston Consulting Group in India, Neeraj Aggarwal, has summed it well, when he said, “There will be lots of pushing and shoving by the technology companies. It will be a battle of ecosystems, and companies will do their best to hold on to their own.”
Aadhaar based authentication, built right into the smartphone will make payments easier& instant, besides assisting Indian citizens to avail various Govt schemes easily, and legally.
However, issues of privacy and data protection remains paramount for tech companies, who may not allow such easy access to their customer’s data.