Nevertheless, a series of reported data breaches has raised concerns about the safety of personal information in the hands of the Indian government. In the period between April 2017 and January 2018 alone, 114 government portals were hacked, according to data provided to parliament by the minister of state for electronics and IT.

Over the past year, the authorities and private companies have stepped up efforts to get more and more Indians to link their Aadhaar numbers with everything from bank accounts to mutual funds to mobile phone services. This, despite several embarrassing breaches that have reportedly revealed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of people. In one instance, the private data of a billion Indians were reportedly offered for sale for as little as Rs500 (less than $8). The government has, however, denied that any such leaks have taken place.

India’s supreme court is hearing petitions against the forced linking of the controversial biometric programme with other services, but millions of Indians may have already lost control of their private information.

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