据说印度要把公民身份系统升级区块链化,这真的可行吗? - 互联网金融门户 未央网

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区块链国际资讯

据说印度要把公民身份系统升级区块链化,这真的可行吗?

区块链国际资讯

据说印度要把公民身份系统升级区块链化,这真的可行吗?

Aadhaar系统是印度政府推行的一项措施,要求民众将个人身份信息和生物数据录入该系统,从而获得身份认证,是迄今为止世界上最大的生物识别数据库。通过Aadhaar系统,每个印度人会得到一组12位数字号码,这一组数字和指纹及虹膜扫描等生物识别数据一起存储在中央数据库中。这一系统通过"定位"身份保障交易安全,通过认证之后,人们就可以申请贷款、养老金,以及进行汇款。

虽然世界银行等组织认为使用Aadhaar意义重大,"有助于政府促进弱势群体融入社会",但批评者多年来一直对其基础设施缺陷表示担忧。 据报道,系统安全漏洞不断增加,"老大哥"疑虑挥之不去。那么,区块链能帮助印度政府解决这个问题吗?

批评之声

尽管Aadhaar拥有巨大潜力,但也有评论家认为,Aadhaar已经沦为了政府的监视工具。 德国教授Ursula Rao等学者针对这一问题发表了大量文章。 在她看来,Aadhaar正在公民与国家之间创造一种新关系。实际上,Aadhaar并非强制使用,印度最高法院裁定,不强制民众使用Aadhaar系统,但是Aadhaar与所得税申报在内的众多服务捆绑在一起。 如果不使用Aadhaar系统,生活会有很多不便。

请愿者上诉最高法院,陈述许多理由对Aadhaar提出质疑。隐私是理由之一,同时Aadhaar立法化也可能违宪。

是否应当把规模庞大的生物识别数据库架设在区块链上?

如果把Aadhaar架设在区块链中,分布式数据库将取代原有的中央数据库。但是这样真的可行吗?

对于外行来说,可以把区块链想象成一个双锁门,需要两把钥匙:公共和私人钥匙。 Jagdish Pandya(Cryptocurrency Expo的创始人)建议数据库应该架设在区块链上。"现在Aadhaar的所有信息都是公开的,私钥可以保护个人免受系统泄漏私人信息的影响。"

另一方面,Praneet Kumar(一位担任过律师的区块链倡导者,全球区块链基金会的联合创始人)认为,Aadhaar是一项非常昂贵的技术,把Aadhaar系统架设在区块链上费用会十分高昂。他认为, 将Aadhaar整体迁移到区块链可能意义不大,但印度政府正在考虑将部分内容迁移到区块链上。将Aadhaar 迁移到区块链,其安全性可以得到保障。不需要把整个Aadhaar数据库都挪到区块链上。可以使用Ethereum这样的适合的协议打造一个私有链,每个节点/区块都进行网络认证。只需要把用户身份验证迁移到区块链,这样就可以创建一个专用网络,来控制数据泄漏,因为API是数据泄露的主要来源。

虽然有越来越多人提议使用区块链技术来重新推广Aadhaar,但是区块链技术在印度得到广泛采用之前还有一些问题需要解决。

区块链技术在印度:尚在起步阶段

区块链技术在印度尚处于起步阶段。Pandya希望"把区块链做一个可靠的职业,但仍然有许多不见光的地方。"我们需要改变看待区块链技术的心态,因为这一技术已经被骗子"玩坏了"。Pandya和Kumar都指出,印度和大部分亚洲地区仅仅是加密爱好者或区块链爱好者,印度加密交易使用了"区块链"这个名称,但对基础技术并不感兴趣。

加密货币为雄心勃勃的区块链技术提供激励。所以Kumar认为,"两者需要互相促进"。例如,可以通过发放代币激励农民提高粮食产量。

政府对区块链的态度也不甚明确。Pandya表示,"在印度,政治家们认为加密货币是庞氏骗局,而且对区块链了解不多。"Kumar预计在5月底前监管措施会明晰一些,"印度正在伺机而动。"但是政府不应该控制或禁止一项技术。禁止的地方会受到惩罚,而其他司法管辖区就会加速发展。

前景向好,印度政府积极支持

印度政府也对区块链的推广提供了一些支持。 3月28日,安得拉邦政府(印度第八大州)宣布与一家私人公司签约,为5000万公民设计一个基于区块链的DNA数据库,以控制遗传疾病。

该州首席部长Nara Chandrababu Naidu的IT顾问JA Chowdary表示,到目前为止,每个泄露的大型数据库都是集中管理的。而区块链分类账则是完全分布式的。黑客要进入分布式数据库需要费很大的力气,在大多数情况下,花费的时间完全没意义。

但对于其他人来说,这一进展令人不安。 如果Aadhaar将来也包含DNA身份验证,该系统接下来将走向何方?

安得拉邦也成为第一个采用区块链治理的印度州。目前已经试行了两个关键项目:管理土地记录和简化车辆登记。此外,印度财长阿伦贾特利在其2018-2019年的预算演讲中要求印度政府智库NITI Aayog为区块链制定路线图。NITI Aayog一直在鼓励讨论探索区块链的潜力,据称将在2018年7月发布报告。

大规模区块链人力资源开发正式启动

印度喀拉拉邦在今年4月建立了喀拉拉邦区块链学院,为年轻程序员提供培训。 这是第一个被Linux基金会Hyperledger项目授予成员资格的印度机构。

Kumar预测,凭借高技能的编程人才,区块链将对印度的发展产生巨大的作用,能够跨越技术层面解决许多社会和法律问题。 他们"有意将印度建设成最大的区块链人力资本开发站点"。

基于区块链的Aadhaar系统将让印度区块链信徒欢欣鼓舞。 但就目前而言,推广区块链,挑战依然不可忽视。

Aadhaar is an Indian government initiative to secure its residents’ rights to have an identity. It is the most comprehensive adoption of biometrics technology by any government in the world.

The system creates unique 12-digit numbers for all Indian residents, which are stored in a central database along with biometrics like fingerprints and iris scans. This secures transactions, as it “anchors” people’s identities to defined metrics, and is used to authenticate loans, pensions, and money transfers across the country.

But while groups like the World Bank champion it as having noble goals, saying it “helps willing governments to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups,” critics of Aadhaar have been vocal about its infrastructural flaws for years. Security breaches have reportedly kept growing and “Big Brother” fears linger. Could blockchain help solve this problem?

Criticisms

For all its potential, critics lambaste Aadhaar for enabling the creation of a surveillance state. Academics like German professor Ursula Rao have written extensively on the problems of the initiative. For her, Aadhaar is creating new relations between citizens and the state.

Effectively, Aadhaar is optional—the Indian Supreme Court ruled that enrollment is not mandatory—but it is continually linked to numerous services, including income tax filing. Not using it remains very inconvenient.

Petitioners are challenging Aadhaar in the Supreme Court on numerous grounds. Privacy is one of the concerns, but the manner in which the program was legislated may also have been unconstitutional.

Should a biometric ID database of this magnitude be on blockchain?

If Aadhaar is put on a blockchain, it would be a distributed database, not a central one. But could this work?

For the uninitiated, imagine the blockchain is a double-locked door that requires two keys: a public and private one. Jagdish Pandya (founder of Cryptocurrency Expo) suggests that the database should be on the blockchain.

“Right now, all information on Aadhaar is public,” he says. “Private keys can protect individuals from having private information given away by the system.” Pandya also says that this should be dependent on the context of the information.

Praneet Kumar (a lawyer-turned-blockchain-evangelist), on the other hand, argues that Aadhaar is a very expensive technology, and integrating it with blockchain could be prohibitive. “The entire migration to blockchain may not make sense,” he says. “But the Indian government is considering migrating certain areas.”

Kumar (who is also the co-founder of the Global Blockchain Foundation) suggests that even if Aadhaar is migrated to the blockchain, security will be ensured:

The entire Aadhar database doesn’t need to come on blockchain. Using an appropriate protocol like Ethereum, we should make a permissioned blockchain, and each node/block will be authenticated by the network. Only user authentication should be migrated to blockchain—this would create a private network to restrict data leakage, as APIs are the key source of data compromise.

While there have been increasing proposals for re-implementing Aadhaar using blockchain technology, there are issues to overcome before blockchain is widely adopted in India.

Still nascent in India

Blockchain is still in its nascent stages in India. Pandya laments, saying he wanted to “make it a credible profession, but there are still many dark places.” According to him, we need to change the psychological mindset surrounding blockchain, as it has been “mis-utilized” by scammers.

Both Pandya and Kumar note that India and Asia at large remain divided as either crypto or blockchain enthusiasts and that Indian crypto exchanges use the name “blockchain” but are not interested in the fundamental technology.

Cryptocurrencies offer incentives for ambitious blockchain technologies. So according to Kumar, “we need to promote the other side.” For example, farmers can be incentivized to ensure grain harvests are transparent by receiving tokens.

The government mood on blockchain is also unclear. “In India, politicians have described cryptocurrencies as a ponzi scheme, and knowledge of blockchain is poor and unclear,” says Pandya. “India is now crawling.” Though Kumar expects some regulatory clarity by the end of May.

He notes that tech should not be controlled or banned by a government. If they are, the place of the ban is usually punished, as other jurisdictions expedite development.

Positive signs

But there has been some support for blockchain implementation. On March 28, the government of Andhra Pradesh (India’s eighth-largest state) announced that it had signed up a private firm to build a blockchain-based DNA database of its 50 million citizens, designed to combat genetic diseases.

JA Chowdary, the IT advisor to the state’s chief minister, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, has been quoted saying:

Every large database breached thus far has been centralized. Blockchain ledgers, on the other hand, are completely distributed. The effort required to hack a decentralized database is titanic and in most cases not even worth the time.

But for others, this is a troubling development. If Aadhaar also has desires for DNA authentication in the future, where could all this lead?

Andhra Pradesh has also become the first Indian state to adopt blockchain for governance. It has piloted two key projects: managing land records and streamlining vehicle registrations. Further, Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley, in his 2018-2019 budget speech, asked Indian government think tank NITI Aayog to prepare a roadmap for blockchain.

NITI Aayog has been encouraging discussions exploring the potential of the blockchain and is said to be aiming for a July 2018 release date.

Greatest human capital development site for blockchain

In April, the Indian state of Kerala built the Kerala Blockchain Academy to train young programmers. This is the first Indian institution to be granted membership by the Hyperledger project hosted by the Linux Foundation.

With enormous programming talent, Kumar expects blockchain could be really important to India’s national development, leapfrogging tech ranks to solve many social and legal issues. According to him, they “aspire to build India into the greatest human capital development site for blockchain.”

***

A blockchain-based Aadhaar system might provide great momentum for the believers of India’s blockchain community. But for now, the challenges of widespread blockchain adoption remain.


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