INDIA - Court Rules Biometric Database Legal

Arno Froese

India’s highest court ruled that the world’s largest biometric identification database doesn’t infringe on citizens’ privacy rights—but needs some new limitations.

The country’s controversial Aadhaar program uses photos, finger and eye scans and has already signed up more than 1 billion people. It has sparked an intense global debate over how far a democracy should be able to go in collecting the personal data of its citizens and how that data can be used, shared and protected.

A five-judge panel ruled in a 4-1 decision that the program is constitutional and helps the poor by streamlining disbursement of welfare benefits. Being in the database, however, shouldn’t be required for using mobile phones, opening bank accounts or for school admissions, according to the 1,448-page document outlining the court’s decision. It had been unclear for some time whether such organizations could compel people to supply Aadhaar numbers.

“It’s a historic judgment,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said. “Everyone must realize, including critics of Aadhaar, that you can’t defy technology or ignore it.”

“This is a good judgment,” said Parvesh Khanna, a Delhi-based lawyer and one of the main plaintiffs in the case. “It’s okay for the government to use my data but not the private companies,” he said., 26 September 2018

Arno's commentary

Data protection is an issue that will continue. Europe has put into law the world’s strictest data protection system.

Where will it lead? On the one hand, to a better-regulated society, significant decrease of crime and corruption; subsequently, an increase in prosperity for the country.

On the other hand, We know from Scripture that this development is to come. All people on planet earth will be registered, identified, and classified. We agree with finance minister Arun Jaitley: “Everyone must realize, including critics of Aadhaar, that you can’t defy technology or ignore it.”

But we believe there is more to it. We are reminded of Jesus’ first coming, where we read in Luke 2:1: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.” The NASB makes it a little clearer: “…that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.” Another translation reads: “…for the general registration throughout the Roman world.” What was the purpose? In plain words, for the Roman Empire to “count their sheep.” But we know there was a much greater reason: because Joseph and his fiancée Mary were dwelling in Nazareth, yet the prophets proclaimed that He would be born in the city of David, in Bethlehem. Thus, the entire upheaval in the Roman world served to fulfill the prophetic Word; Jesus had to be born in the city of Bethlehem.

Now, in the end stages of the end time, we have these censuses taken in virtually every country, and they become more accurate as time goes by. India is leading the world with a biometric identity database. So, be ready: there’s more to come.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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