As part of facilitating the identification of persons, India opts for the use of electronic passports using radiofrequency technology and equipped with biometric chips. A real bet for the identification of a population of nearly 1.5 billion inhabitants, this project is the source of many questions about the security of the data of the people enrolled, although it complies with the standards required by the ‘International Civil Aviation.
Computerization of the identification of the population in India, a bet lost?
In 2009, the Indian State was launching a project to identify all of its population while assigning an identification number to be completed to the creation and distribution of electronic passports. This campaign was based on the fact that it would reduce poverty, discourage corruption and repel terrorism.
Unfortunately, this project is quickly criticized for its unreliability when a journalist manages to prove that she has been granted administrator access to the database of enrollees. We will also not forget the episode of the data leak of almost 200 million citizens who are members of a low-cost housing program.
Electronic passport in India, what level of security?
Jointly piloted by Tata Consultancy Service (TCS ) and the National Computer Center (NIC), the electronic passport would be issued with higher levels of security and would reduce cases of identity theft.
Equipped with antennas and microprocessors, electronic passports will use technology similar to that of payment cards. This integrated microprocessor will store the holder’s personal information and thus make it possible to trace their movements.
We cannot discuss the subject of biometric data without touching on that of the
data security on computer system. One thing is certain, electronic passports are more secure than those in paper version.
These passports are equipped with microchips having an extremely high level of encryption and capable of detecting hacking attempts. During the creation of the electronic passport, it is marked with an inviolable electronic signature which makes it impossible to modify the data once delivered to the recipient.
The falsification of such a passport would not be possible only if the hacker not only has the necessary material for the manufacture of the integrated microchips, but also access to government data for the affixing of the signature key. Falsifying a biometric passport would therefore be a real obstacle course. This is what Indian officials use as arguments to try to change the opinion of citizens. It should be noted that several countries in Europe and America already use similar passports. Will India succeed in its bet?
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