[Busec] Talk at Harvard this Monday 12/9: Biometrics In Beta – India's Identity Experiment

Sharon Goldberg goldbe at cs.bu.edu
Sun Dec 8 17:46:54 EST 2013

All, the following talk looks interesting, and was recommended by Adam
Smith :)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hooley, Sean <shooley at fas.harvard.edu>
Date: Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 2:11 PM

 Technology in Government (TIG)  and Topics in Privacy (TIP)

 12/9/2013 refreshments served at 2:30p, discussion 3 to 4pm in room K354,
 at 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

 Title: Biometrics In Beta – India's Identity Experiment
Discussant: Malavika Jayaram, Berkman Fellow

 India's identity juggernaut - the Unique Identity (UID) project that has
registered around 450 million people and is yet to be fully realized - is
already the world's largest biometrics identity scheme. Based on the
premise that centralized de-duplication and authentication will establish
uniqueness and eliminate fraud, it is hailed as a game changer and a silver
bullet that will solve myriad problems and improve welfare delivery, yet
its conception and architecture raise significant concerns. In addition to
the UID project, there is a slew of "Big Brother" systems that together
form a matrix of identity and surveillance schemes: the UID is intended as
a common identifier across this matrix as well as other public and private
databases. Indian authorities frame Big Data as a panacea for fraud,
corruption and abuse, without apprehending the further fraud, corruption
and abuse that joined up databases can themselves engender. The creation of
a privacy-invading technology layer not simply as a barrier to online
participation but to social participation writ large is not fully
appreciated by policy makers. Malavika will provide an overview of the
identity landscape including the implications for privacy and free speech,
and more broadly, democracy and openness.

 Bio: Malavika is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society
at Harvard, focusing on privacy, identity and free expression, especially
in the context of India's biometric ID project. A Fellow at the Centre for
Internet and Society, Bangalore, she is the author of the India chapter for
the Data Protection & Privacy volume in the Getting the Deal Done series.
She is one of 10 Indian lawyers in The International Who's Who of Internet
e-Commerce & Data Protection Lawyers directory. In August 2013, she was
voted one of India's leading lawyers - one of only 8 women to be featured
in the "40 under 45" survey conducted by Law Business Research, London. In
a different life, she spent 8 years in London, practicing law with global
law firm Allen & Overy in the Communications, Media & Technology group, and
as VP and Technology Counsel at Citigroup. During 2012-2013, She was a
Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of
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