India’s unique identification program Aadhaar sees a big drop in ‘authentication’ use after Supreme Court verdict

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  • The number of Aadhaar-related authentications fell by nearly a third to 824 million in November compared to March this year.
  • Aadhaar also saw a big drop in enrollments in November following India’s Supreme Court’s judgment limiting its use.
  • The decline in Aadhaar enrolments was reportedly “expected” by the government as over 1.22 billion Indians have already been enrolled.
Two months after India’s Supreme Court’s verdict curtailing Aadhaar’s use by private companies, the biometric-based unique identity program has seen a big drop in use for ‘authentication’ purposes.

The number of Aadhaar-related authentications fell by nearly a third to 824 million in November compared to March this year, Economic Times reported citing official data from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Additionally, Aadhaar-based authentication through e-KYC using fingerprints or iris fell by nearly half to nearly 154 million in November from 370 million in March, the report pointed out.

The number of people enrolling in Aadhaar has also seen a dip falling to 866,000 in November as compared to 2.2 million in October. However, the Indian government has been expecting fewer enrollments as its estimates show over 1.22 billion people in India already have Aadhaar.

In September, India’s Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, but put several restrictions on its use. For example, it said it was no longer necessary for its citizens to link their bank accounts with Aadhaar and asked private companies to refrain from asking for Aadhaar details.
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