biometrics, banks and this seemingly ignored question of data security

In the beginning, only the National Population Register – and, a little later, Nandan Nilekani’s Unique Identification Authority of India – were supposed to capture and store biometrics. However, over the past few months, India has come to a point where myriad central ministeries, state departments and others are camping in the country’s villages and towns, capturing fingerprints and scanning irises, and storing them in their servers. One of the first-movers in this direction, and probably one of the largest collectors of biometrics, is the banking system which thinks biometrics will help it ensure welfare payments go only to the targeted beneficiaries.

This profusion of databases, however, raises an important question — about whether the biometrics being collected are being securely stored or not. To get answers to that question, ET did an email interview with B Sambamurthy , the director and CEO of the RBI’s Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).
IDRBT, i should add, is one of the central institutions in the country working on establishment of common standards for the entire banking system. Read on. Here.

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