According to new reports, Microsoft is working on a program that will link India's national ID system with Skype.
Reported by The Indian Express, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said that the company is working on making it possible to use authenticated video calls to communicate with government agencies. "We have been pursuing work, initially on a pilot basis, to use this specific technology and integrate it with Skype. We see Skype evolving in a way that will enable someone at home to authenticate themselves with using an ID system with a fingerprint or iris scan and then communicate with someone on the other end, maybe even a government agency, which will know that person is the same as he or she is claiming to be," said Smith. Though still in early testing, Microsoft's proposed program would associate a person's Aadhar 12-digit identification code, similar to Social Security Numbers in the United States, with their Skype account. To protect users, Smith said that fingerprint or facial scanners could be used to verify your identity.
Currently India's national identification system is voluntary, but citizens are encouraged to sign up. As of the end of January, just shy of 1 billion Indian citizens had enrolled, accounting for the majority of the country's 1.3 billion. If Microsoft's partnership with Aadhar is successful, the company is expected to try to roll out the Skype authentication service elsewhere. This program is still a ways away from launch, but could make it possible to avoid taking off work to spend hours waiting at the DMV.
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