The Indian government has come up with an innovative idea to use smartphones, the one thing that most of the people posses nowadays and use 24x7, to the advantage of country's public policy. The Unique Identification Authority of India is currently working out ways through which they can make smartphones as a one-stop tool for the purpose of instant identity authentication and allow the citizens receive all the government services working on the Aadhaar platform without any hassle.

In order to discuss the possibilities of making phones Aadhaar-enabled, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chief executive officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey recently held a meeting with senior executives of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Micromax and Samsung, and product software think tank iSPIRT. For the unaware, (UIDAI) is the organisation administering Aadhaar.

According to industry sources, the response of the smartphone companies to UIDAI's proposal was quite positive and encouraging, but they will have to first discuss it with their respective headquarters before taking it further.

UIDAI aims to work out their idea by encrypting the chips of Aadhaar-enabled smartphones with a UIDAI key and the smartphones will be connected to the Aadhaar server. The main objective here is to develop a security feature which is fully power packed and has no scope for any information leak whatsoever. The connection of the server will make way for instant iris and fingerprint authentication. Some of the smartphones currently in the market already come with iris and fingerprint recognition technology. The technology bar for incorporating this authentication feature is very reasonable and a majority of the smartphones headsets can be equipped in a similar way.

Experts think that this will be a game-changing feature as it will allow the user's phone to become their identity and let them do more transactions on their smartphones more confidently.

If made successful, this would be the first time that something like this would have happened in any part of the world.

In a statement to a national economic daily, Pandey explained the whole rationale behind UIDAI's idea. He said, "Nearly 104 crore Indians have Aadhaar and almost 40 crore have smartphones. Every agency requires authentication via Aadhaar. If people don't need to go to any office to authenticate their identity and get government services, and if they are able to do so through their mobile phones, this can be the big gamechanger."

Aadhaar- enabled smartphones can prove to be a promising business opportunity for Smartphone companies. Maybe, something on the similar lines as GPS-enabled headsets have proved to be in the past. This is mainly because under the Modi government, Aadhaar has taken a stronger hold as an interface between the citizens of the country and their governments, both at the central and state levels, and as the smartphones sales keep climbing the sales ladder, citizens will start favouring the phones which are Aadhaar-enabled.

While the government is working really hard to make sure that their idea sees the day of light, it's path does have some hurdles. According to industry experts, companies running the operating systems might have some apprehensions about sending iris and fingerprint data over "unsecure" networks, on the context of privacy concerns. But, according to Pandey, the solution for this is a "registered device".

According to Pandey, it would be practically almost impossible for anyone expect the Aadhaar server to have access to the biometric information as it would be encrypted by a UIDAI key at the chip level in headsets. Such an encryption makes sure that the important information is neither decrypted or reused.

The smartphone manufacturers have been informed about the same by UIDAI.

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