India’s government is allowing app developers to use its biometric database of more than a billion citizens as part of an initiative called “India Stack.”
The developers can use customers’ fingerprint and iris scans to compare against records stored as part of the government’s vast biometric data-collection program, to create new ways to access insurance, banking, healthcare and employment.
As outlined in a Wall Street Journal article, the world’s largest biometric-identity database has excited the tech community, and prompted Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates to say India could become “the most digitized economy”. However, privacy advocates worry the program could lead to excessive government surveillance and be vulnerable to hackers.
Here is the short answer on how the so-called India Stack initiative will work.