barcodeThe new Indian government has indicated strong support for a controversial project to require residents to have biometric IDs in order to collect government benefits, setting a target of 1 billion enrollments by 2015. The status of the project was in doubt when a new federal government was voted in last May, as the winning Bharatiya Janata Party had said during the election campaign that it would review the program. The new target signals the new government’s backing of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which was largely seen as a project of the previous government led by the Congress party. The biometric ID, which assigns a person a 12-digit number called the Aadhaar number, requires the collection of 10 fingerprints, iris scans and other information such as the name, date of birth and address of the individual. It has been criticized by a number of privacy groups who are concerned that the data could at some point be misused by the government. Full Story