Digital India

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Digital India

Tuesday 2A

Convener: Mei Lin Fung

Notes-taker(s): Laurie Wang

Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered: Digital India, Aadhaar, biometrics, financial inclusion, national ID systems, role of government, privacy

Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:

Digital India has 3 main categories:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Delivery of Services
  3. Digital Literacy;

Functions include digital lockers, econsent, payment.

Useful Links:

Interest in Digital India Next Step main interest What others said about this
Development, India, World Bank, ID40 principles Governance, Privacy issues World Bank's ID 40 principles - who is working on this with them?
Understanding ID in a different Culture, loss of anonymity, what does Gov do? what does private industry do? Regulation? Share best practices ID Systems: 1. Human capacity building 2. Citizen access to services
Civil Liberties Prevent Statism in Identity Systems
Samsung devices already in use in India
Biometric in use for 800M. Aadhaar defacto ID Unintended consequences of a centralized data base of e.g. biometric ID's Tech billionaire drove Aadhaar, many Tech volunteers in India
ID-human dignity. Just at the beginning - how can rest of world help/be involved? Human dignity, rural india, UDAI, 2 pager for Digital India architects How can other initiatives and other countries learn from UDAI
What is ID? How data sharing? East vs West Trust - Gov, citizens, business Tyranny of Data. List known problems and approaches to them. CORRUPTION
Scalability, how to deal with error rate which multiplies exponentially - India's 1+ billion population presents major new challenges Biometrics, scalability, cultural identity Government as Catalyst; Private industry or NGO alternative to gov as catalyst: How to weave learnings and improve together for benefit of people
Well-connected family in India. Cares about how Silicon Valley can help/ be involved; Digital india started to address needs of those who come from rural areas and work in urban, ration cards were facilitated by Aadhaar (too much too fast); Culture issues ID vs Authentication Moral responsibility to 500 million people thrust upon the edge of digital frontier Learn from other nation's examples: UK, Canada, Singapore, Estonia, Peru, Mexico (banking the undocumented - Vance Bjorn); National ID conference at Harvard Fall 2015; ecommerce and demonetization.
Collect, Store, Transfer What is ID?
Journal of record for background checks, FCRA Fraud, new frontiers Corruption and Digital Literacy, _ standards mapping to existing
Rural India, developed open source low cost mobile phone
digital literacy surrounding the negative aspects of the Hyperion Report Mei Lin - Iterate: Plan Do Study Act; OODA loop
Bottom up - meeting the aspirations of the marginalized Scalability - Open identity standards
can learn from work by Mexico on banking the undocumented - authentication
Funded Consult Hyperion report on Aadhaar cited by Kaliya IEEE - IEEE Standards for Internet Inclusion David Rodriguez of standards mapping to existing; Karen McCabe IEEE, Steve Olshansky Internet Society
Trust, P2P, When? How? Iterate Prepare 2 pager with Joe Andrieu for Digital India representatives on World Economic Forum digital economy and society global future council Trust - S Shariq interested in follow-up on trust between the 3: governments, citizens, businesses
Identity and Trust
IEEE - IEEE Standards for Internet Inclusion

  1. Digital India – what is it?
    • Problem: India’s large rural population and urban migrants rely on gov’t handouts, ration cards based on old identity systems that are local
    • Aadhaar is national biometric ID system to solve these issues, but facing growing pains and based entirely on authentication (not identity); has to led to privacy concerns – this is one piece of Digital India
    1. Consult Hyperion’s Digital ID Issue Analysis
      1. Pros of Aadhaar: roll out to large #’s, strong tech security, focus on ID not citizenship, only shares relevant information
      2. Cons: no comprehensive data protection, no independent data protection authority
    • Digital India is government’s big initiative to leap frog through:
    1. Creation of digital infrastructure
    2. Delivery of digital services
    3. Digital literacy
  2. Topics / approaches proposed
    • What are other countries doing? UK, Canada, Estonia, Peru
    1. Resource: National ID conference by Harvard, 2015,
    2. Types of systems:
      1. Canada has one national ID card built into multiple systems (e.g., drivers license, health care records)
        1. Tradeoff is security and privacy for the individual in one giant file
        2. British Columbia has overcome this by allowing agencies to see only appropriate information – takes sophisticated thinking and systems design
    • India needs to overcome tyranny of data
    1. Identifier is your identity, if identifier gets corrupted, you lose your identity – system must be built to work around this
    • Digital literacy as core issue
    • Loss of anonymity – what are best practices to mitigate this? World Bank has established some but we need more private sector voices
  3. How is identity viewed in India?
    • Data sharing: users more willing to share vs. EU
    • In India, “shopkeeper is king” vs. “customer is king” in US
    • The benefit of national ID system is financial inclusion for the undocumented
    • India’s a very young country – 500 million “millennials” so lots of room for innovation in service delivery and new concept of identity
    • Role of government: privacy regulations far behind “best practice”
    • Corruption is the biggest danger – it’s a trust issue
  4. Is financial inclusion worth the trade-off of privacy / risk concerns?
    • Example: Singapore has biometric ID system – used to drive massive GDP growth and rise in standards of living, had to give up some privacy
    • We need to get across that India is not done yet
    • Need to give user transparency and consent: example = how background checks work
  5. What do we want to recommend / contribute to Digital India?
    • Should depend on what people of India want – including marginalized populations:
    1. Demonetization drives need for modernization of ecommerce and mobile wallets
    2. Ready for large-scale adoption of digital delivery of services but need guidance
    • There will be opportunities for other actors to provide private, more secure components and build on top of India’s identity stack (e.g., digital lockers)
    • Need best practices, IEEE can help influence
    • World Bank principles stipulate standards to receive funding for national ID systems – encourage systems to be open and interoperable, prevent vendor lock-in, with security, privacy and ease of use
    • This is an opportunity to not re-inforce a statist perspective on identity
    • How do we “dance” with the states but not end up with that being the only legitimate path to identity?
  6. Additional Resources