An update on Microsoft’s attempt to link Skype to India’s Aadhaar database

Laurent Giret

Earlier this year, we reported that Microsoft was working with the Indian government to link Skype with the national ID database Aadhaar. For those unfamiliar, Aadhaar is one of the world’s largest national identification number projects, the initiative is currently voluntary for Indian citizens. Those who agree to join the program get a 12-digit identity number which is linked to biometric and demographic data stored in centralized government databases.

At the time, Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith explained that integrating Skype with Aadhaar could provide Indian citizens new authentication methods to communicate with government services that require Aadhaar-based authentication. Yesterday, Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik explained that discussions between the company and the Indian Government are still in progress (via The Financial Express). “We have presented various case scenarios on how Skype can be used. We already support iris authentication (on Windows 10). Now it depends on them how they want to proceed,” he explained.

More details on the proceedings are still unknown for now, but integrating Skype with the Indian national ID database could push many more users to use the app in the Indian market. Pramanik also reiterated that the company is “actively working with the government across areas to contribute to the Digital India mission and transforming India.”