This is not the Mark of the Beast. But you certainly don’t get there without something like this.

India has launched an ambitious program to fit each of its 1.2 billion residents with an Unique identification number (UID). Each number will be tied into three pieces of biometric data: fingerprints (all ten digits), iris scans (both eyes), and a picture of the face. Starting this month, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will begin processing people in various locations around the country. UIDAI aims to slowly roll out the program through February of 2011 and to ID 600 million people in the next four years!

It’s being instituted to combat social welfare fraud, but it won’t stop there.

Yet the UID is going to be used for much more than social welfare programs. The UIDAI is in discussions with many institutions (banks, local/state governments, etc) to allow them to use the UID as a means of identity verification. These institutions will pay the UIDAI some fee to cover costs and generate revenue. There seems to be little doubt that once it is established, the UID will become a preferred method (if not the preferred method) of identification in India.

It’s optional now, but how long do you think that will last? Never mind the Biblical overtones, many layers of privacy are being stripped away. And the further question is, why does the government need to know every little thing that I do?

Sounds like a power grab to me.

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