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17 Mär 2020

Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, HuffPost India

Govt. of India has taken steps to implement a social registry that would track every Indian, according to previously undisclosed documents

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"Exclusive: Documents show Modi govt. building 360 degree database to track every Indian," 17 March 2020

The Narendra Modi government is in the final stages of creating an all-encompassing, auto-updating, searchable database to track every aspect of the lives of each of India’s over 1.2 billion residents, previously undisclosed government documents reviewed by HuffPost India establish. If the plans of Modi’s bureaucrats and advisors are realised, this system will automatically track when a citizen moves between cities, changes jobs, buys new property, when a member of a family is born, dies or gets married and moves to their spouse’s home.

... File notings, meeting minutes and interdepartmental correspondence reviewed by HuffPost India reveal that the government has taken concrete steps towards building this database... If the registry is implemented in its current form, privacy experts warn, the government can use opaque algorithms to sift through reams of data and arbitrarily designate individuals as citizens or non-citizens.

... “India’s safeguards for state surveillance have always been weak. But this near-complete Orwellian surveillance would overturn the balance of power between citizens and the state,” [said Chinmayi Arun, Fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School]. “It may be safe to say that if the state manages successfully to watch us so closely, India’s democracy will gradually become unrecognisable.”