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India’s Aadhaar identification card.

In 2009, Indian officials first pitched the idea for Aadhaar, an online national identification system containing personal and biometric information. It was touted as a “turbocharged version of the Social Security number,” a database that could act as a digital cure for identity fraud and make identity verification an easier and more streamlined process. In the last eight years of its operation, Aadhaar has been both widely expanded to integrate with tons of government and online services, and widely criticized as a privacy risk for Indian nationals if it were to be hacked.

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