India: Wikileaks sent out a tweet on Friday, which said “Has the CIA already stolen India’s Aadhaar database?”, almost alleging that central intelligence agency (CIA) spies might already be having access to the Aadhaar database.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 25, 2017
According to the link to a story tweeted out by Wikileaks, tools developed by US-based technology company Cross Match Technologies are being used by CIA to access the Aadhaar database. This claim has been dismissed by the official sources in India.
Cross Match Technologies was one of the first suppliers of biometric devices which were certified by the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) for the Aadhaar program. The company had received approvals for its ‘Guardian’ fingerprint capture device and ‘I Scan’ iris scanning devices in 2011.
Official sources who spoke to the Times of India, news agency based in India, have said that the reports do not have any basis in fact. “Aadhaar data is safely encrypted and is inaccessible to any other agency,” say official sources.
According to the story published on Great Game India, Express Lane which is a covert information collection tool used by the CIA to secretly exfiltrate data collection, has been used to get access to biometric data. The report claims that the office of technical services (OTS) is a branch within the CIA which has a biometric collection system that is meant to liaison with services around the world.
“The core components of the OTS system are based on products from Cross Match, a US company specialising in biometric software for law enforcement and the Intelligence Community. The company hit the headlines in 2011 when it was reported that the US military used a Cross Match product to identify Osama bin Laden during the assassination operation in Pakistan,” says the report on Wikileaks. The report goes on to say that Express Lane is installed and run on the biometric data collection software by OTS agents who visit the liaison sites.