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India's Top Court Upholds But Restricts Biometric ID Project

India’s Supreme Court has upheld the country’s ambitious, but controversial, biometric identity project saying it is benefiting the poor, but it also limited the government’s scope for using the program.Critics had challenged the world’s largest collection of biometrics flagging concerns that ranged from violation of privacy, data theft, state surveillance to the exclusion of some poor people from state benefits.The top court ruled Wednesday that the “Aadhaar” plan, under which data such as iris scans and fingerprints of over a 1.2 billion citizens have been collected, is constitutionally valid and empowers marginalized people.“Aadhaar gives dignity to the marginalized. Dignity to the marginalized outweighs privacy," said the ruling. “One cannot throw out the baby with the bath water.”

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