Microsoft founder Bill Gates supported the biometric ID Aadhaar on Thursday. Praising the unique identification, Bill Gates advised other countries to adopt the Aadhaar card scheme. In an interaction with media, Gates said, Aadhaar and the technology behind it do not cause any privacy issue. He also suggested the other countries should also adopt the Aadhaar scheme as it is worth emulating. Microsoft founder added, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the World Bank to take Aadhaar to other countries as it is “worth emulating”.

“We have funded the World Bank to take this Aadhaar approach to many other countries,” he said. Reports said that several countries have approached New Delhi for assistance in how Aadhaar works. Bill asserted that the benefits the technology are high, which definitely makes it worth emulating by countries around the world. “Yes, other countries should adopt the approach (of Aadhaar) because the quality of governance has a lot to do with how quickly countries are able to grow their economy and empower their people,” Gates replied when asked about the benefits of Aadhaar.

“Aadhaar in itself doesn’t pose any privacy issue because it’s just a bio ID verification scheme,” Gates said, when asked about the concerns about privacy which were raised by few groups and individuals.

Talking about India, more than a billion people have adopted the scheme, and enrolled in Aadhaar, making it world’s largest biometric ID system. The 62-year-old multi-billionaire entrepreneur also confirmed that Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, who is considered as the chief architect of the UIDAI Aadhaar, has been helping the World Bank on taking the project to other countries. “I’m both a good friend and an admirer of Nandan Nilekani and some of the initiatives of digitisation that can help with education, that can help with governance,” Mr Gates said.

The philanthropist added, “The individual applications that use Aadhaar, you have to look and see what’s been stored and who has access to that information. And so, application by application, you have to make sure that’s well managed. In the case of the financial bank account, I think it’s handled very well”. He added that the application uses Aadhaar to set up the accounts so that you can both get your cell phone and get your bank account. He also credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for embracing the technology.

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