DigiLocker, a government-run free personal storage service provider available to Aadhar account holders announced that it had over 1.5 lakh registrations since its launch in February 2015.
Despite the limited storage space provided (10 MB), DigiLocker has received 28,317 registrations from Madhya Pradesh, followed by Uttar Pradesh (20,771) and Maharashtra (17,601).
If you’re an Aadhar card holder, should you use this facility over Dropbox or Google Drive, or any of the free and open source encryption tools available? We posed this question to Saket Modi, CEO of Lucideus, an IIT Bombay incubated IT security services company that advises businesses and institutions. Their clients include the Indian government, tech companies and banks.
Saket believes that Indians should be much more comfortable when their own government is providing a service free of cost, and welcomes the initiative. He said that the service is not really about encryption, it’s more comparable to Google Drive, or OneDrive by Microsoft, which provide online storage, while apps like Truelocker and Bitlocker help encrypt data on a local storage device.
“Technologically, there’s no difference between DigiLocker and Google Drive, and despite the NSA revelations by Snowden, for me, the US government is not as scary as Google or Facebook, which are private, profit-making companies that can go any extent to make money.” he said. “They’re all giving you storage, but we are compromising on our privacy. It’s a very big trade-off. When our government provides us something, the intent is not to store movies or media, but personal identifiable information, like PAN Card, Income tax documents, are quite sensitive and vulnerable to identity theft.” he added.
Saket had a useful tip to simplify privacy in the internet age. “Only attach to your emails and your online drives media that you are okay with sharing with the world. Assume that whatever you have put on Google Drive is already breached. The online world becomes a simpler place when you think like that.” he said.
In an age where password managers get hacked, would you trust an Indian government-run website with your data? “It’s no longer true that Indian security lacks the technical competence that is required, versus their European and North-American counterparts.” he said.
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