Adhaar Plan and MongoDB Controversy

India worries about Aadhar's plan for MongoDB to follow controversy

1. Affected by the Prism Door, the question of Aadhar from all walks of life will threaten people’s privacy and security, instead focusing on Aadhar’s methods of collecting, storing and processing data, and the role of American startup MongoDB in the plan.


2. MongoDB is a NoSQL database. The company was funded by In-Q-Tel, an independent non-profit organization last year, and everyone ’s concern is that In-Q-Tel is an institution supported by the US CIA and other intelligence agencies.


3. Various Indian media cited the views of political parties and political movements, questioning how Aadhar, led by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, handled sensitive data. Some of the reports directly linked the dispute to MongoDB.


The big country of India has always been unable to fully log in to its domestic population data, but the Aadhar plan has brought the dawn:

India’s Unique Identification Project (Unique Identification Project) is also known as the Aadhar plan. The program recently accumulated more than 500 million people in population and biometric data, making it the largest biometric database of its kind in the world.


Since Aadhar was founded a few years ago, it has continued to move forward in criticism. People from all walks of life questioned whether it would threaten people’s privacy and security, while recent criticism of firepower focused on Aadhar’s methods of collecting, storing, and processing data, and many people also worried about the role of US startup MongoDB in the plan.


MongoDB is a NoSQL database. The company was funded by In-Q-Tel, an independent non-profit organization last year, and everyone’s concern is that In-Q-Tel is an institution supported by the US CIA and other intelligence agencies.


National Security Agency or intervention? Aadhar partner Mongo DB cited controversy

Various Indian media cited the views of political parties and political movements, questioning how Aadhar, led by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, handled sensitive data, and some of the reports directly linked the dispute to MongoDB.


After the exposure of the prism plan of the National Security Agency (NSA) to the global government, the global government is very dike for the US government's intelligence units, so the relationship between MongoDB and the intelligence units is bound to cause concern. In addition, due to the upcoming election next year, domestic political discussions are heated. Aadhar's challenges and allegations against these time and space backgrounds are extremely difficult.


According to the staff I spoke with, although some people think that the MongoDB contract with Aadhar includes shared data, in fact Aadhar only uses MongoDB's open source program code, and does not involve sensitive data.

India’s Unique Identification Bureau (UIDAI) also refuted the allegations, saying that it did not provide the Indian people ’s data to the US intelligence unit.


What Aadhar means for India: conducting a census to effectively subsidize the disadvantaged

What is the spatiotemporal background of Aadhar? In India, more than 500 million people do not have an official identity identifier (ID) or similar code, so these people cannot obtain government grants, open bank accounts, loans, obtain driver ’s licenses, and so on.


The Aadhar database has the opportunity to solve this problem: The program currently logs in more than 1 million Indians every day, and it is expected to reach a total of about 1.2 billion people by the end of next year. The huge number makes this database the world's largest biometric database.


For Indians, having a 12-digit Aadhar number has many benefits. One of them is that the government can connect with the bank accounts of the poor people in the country and transfer directly to cash benefits and other subsidies. There are already nearly 40 million bank accounts. Connect with Aadhar.


According to research company CLSA, the Indian government’s subsidies and benefits for the poor are a total of US $ 250 billion, and 40% of them will be corrupted in the next few years.

 But if Aadhar can assist the government to transfer money directly to the poor who need help, the plan can stop corruption.


However, many think tanks and social activists, such as the Bangalore-based Centre for Internet & Society headquartered in Bangalore, have some concerns about Aadhar. They worry about the privacy of the people and doubt the effectiveness of the entire plan.


The world's largest biometric database: the security system was operated by a former Intel engineer

Aadhar's headquarters is located in the southern suburbs of Bangalore, and the Indian headquarters of Intel and Cisco are also established here. The appearance of Aadhar's technology center is not like the building of a government agency. The center has all the data collected by it. The current number is 5 PB.


The atmosphere and installation of the entire Adhaar Office room are quite complex and sophisticated command rooms.

What is displayed on the screen is the overall process of processing datagrams about 5 MB in size.

These datagrams are logged in from about 30,000 registration centers across the country, and then processed after at least three verifications.

During verification, each piece of data is reviewed repeatedly to ensure that each person has only one set of Aadhar codes.


Therefore, each newly registered data has to be compared with the data in other databases, and the amount of existing data has exceeded 500 million.


Srikanth Nadhamuni is a former Intel engineer. In September 2010, he helped build Aadhar's technology platform. He said that these datagrams are protected by 2048-bit confidentiality technology, and if any unauthorized person attempts to invade, the datagrams will be destroyed automatically.


MongoDB storm: Aadhar said that MongoDB did not have access to core information

Why did Aadhar choose MongoDB in the first place, and will it continue to cooperate with this startup?

Sudhir Narayana, assistant director general of Aadhar Technology Center, told me that they chose MongoDB from many database products (including MySQL, Hadoop and HBase) to assist in database search. MySQL database can only store demographic data, but MongoDB can Save the picture, which is more in line with Aadhar's needs.


Social Security Privacy and Adhaar

However, Aadhar began to gradually transfer his database-related work to MySQL because they found that MongoDB could not cope with millions of datagrams. Aadhar has begun to split the database and store the data reports on different machines to ensure that the system will not be overloaded. This action allows Aadhar to reduce its dependence on MongoDB and instead use MySQL to store most of its data.


MongoDB could not obtain any biometric data

Ashok Dalwai, deputy director general of the technology center, stated that MongoDB cannot obtain any biometric data. Dalwai stated that Aadhar believes that the use of open source technology can prevent any vendor from monopolizing the field, but this does not mean that they do not value security.


Aa MongoDB spokesperson stated that the relationship between the company and its funding sources (including In-Q-Tel) was written in this statement for readers’ reference.


More importantly, when India’s only identity bureau began to use MongoDB’s open source software, In-Q-Tel had not yet funded MongoDB, and the interval between them was not short. From the statistics of Cruchbase, it can also be seen that MongoDB It was a total of 7.7 million venture capital investments from Red Hat, Intel Capital and In-Q-Tel in 2012.


What are the prospects for Aadhar?

Despite the controversy, the staff said that the number of Aadhar logins will exceed 1.2 billion by the end of 2014, when the database size will reach 15 PB.


At present, the plan logs in about 1 million people every day, Narayana said he is confident that from next year, the number of daily logins will grow to 2 million. If they follow this pace, they will successfully add the remaining 700 million people to the database in.


And will it be able to reform the Indian government’s corrupt practices and successfully relieve its poor population?

This remains to be seen. The only certainty is that the world’s largest biometric database still continues to swallow up endless data.

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