Business Economy 26 Aug 2017 Has CIA got access t ...

Has CIA got access to India's Aadhaar data bank? Officials say 'no': report

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Aug 26, 2017, 11:33 am IST
Updated Aug 26, 2017, 12:53 pm IST
Report cites a WikiLeaks exposure that claims spy agency using tech tools for cyber spying and biometric data theft.
Aadhaar is a 10-digit, biometric-based unique identification system. (Photo: File)
 Aadhaar is a 10-digit, biometric-based unique identification system. (Photo: File)

Mumbai: US' premier spy agency, the CIA, is deploying tools provided by technology firm Cross Match Technologies for cyber spying that, as a result, may have compromised India's vast Aadhaar data bank, according to a report in The Times of India. So far, the Unique Identification Authority of India, that issues these biometric-based cards, has allotted Aadhaar to around 115 crore Indians.

Cross Match Technologies is a US-based technology solutions firm that provides support to the CIA. Interestingly, CMT also shares its biometric solutions with the UIDAI, nodal agency for Aadhaar. According to the report, CMT's this common thread gives a further push to the claims of possible data leakage.

 

Officials concerned in India have vociferously denied any such data theft by any agency in the world, the report further said. The news comes in just days after India's apex court overwhelmingly ruled in favour of privacy rights. The latest judgement that overruled top court's earlier stands on the issue has once again ignited debate around right to privacy, gay sex and food choices.

On Thursday, WikiLeaks published a release on its Twitter handle that claimed CIA uses a secret 'Express Lane' program to steal biometric data of its partner agencies. According to the WikiLeaks, that claims to have accessed the secret documents of Express Lane project, the CIA conducts cyber operations against liaison services.

RELEASE: CIA 'Express Lane' system for stealing the biometric databases of its 'partner' agencies around the world. https://t.co/8FefOS2Ljl pic.twitter.com/LPwlAd0Tgr

This is not the first time that a report about Aadhaar data theft has surfaced. Earlier this month, the government had revealed it has deactivated more than 81 lakh Aadhaar cards suspecting them of being fake. In July, reports said more than a million Aadhaar card data were compromised in Jharkhand due to a programming error that occurred on state's social security website.

In the past as well, similar breaches had occurred in the eastern Indian state that had exposed personal data details of family of M S Dhoni, who was then the captain of the Indian cricket team. Uncovering of any such sensitive data diffuses personal details as name, address, Aadhaar and bank account numbers.

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