Some of our readers and occasionally, journalists and bloggers have asked us how does our work correlate to that of Indiaâ€™s UID project – Aadhaar. Also, they are curious to know the impact which Aadhaar may have on people search and background verifications.
Firstly, I would like to clarify that we are a â€˜for profitâ€™, business-focused start-up and neither we nor our services have any association with Aadhaar. Aadhaar is indeed one of the most ambitious technology projects which India has undertaken and it has the potential to transform the way stateâ€™s services are delivered to its citizens.
While the full extent of how Aadhaar will help in personal identification is yet to be understood completely, it does appear that the UID number and the associated smart card (with the biometric and certain personal details stored on it), will allow for verifying if the person is indeed who he or she claims to be. The UID FAQs mention â€“ â€œOnce a person is on the UID database the person will be able to establish identity easily. The UID will become the single source of identity verification. Residents would be spared the hassle of repeatedly providing supporting identity documents each time they wish to access services such as obtaining a bank account, passport, driving license, and so on.â€
On privacy and confidentiality, the UID FAQs clearly mention â€“ â€œIn order to protect the right to privacy of the individual the information on the database will not be shared with anyone; all queries will get a â€˜Yesâ€™ or â€˜Noâ€™ responseâ€. This official note makes it completely clear that the UID database will NOT be available to third party background verification companies and WILL be available only to certain government departments, government agencies and law enforcement bodies.
Additionally, the UID database is not going to cover elements like educational background, criminal history, work experience and past references. This major point, along with UID database being off-limits for general public including the background verification companies, makes it clear that the need for verifying address, education credentials, work experience, criminal background, and references, will continue to exist.
In summary, it seems that the publicly available people search and background verifications will not be impacted by UID project.