Did the digital ID procedure put SL citizens' data at risk? | Breaking News

Doubts have been raised as to whether a conspiracy has taken place to go for a higher re-estimation with regard to the digital NIC proposed for all Sri Lankan citizens.

Although the Good Governance Government had initially planned to complete the Digital Identity Card Project by October 31, 2019, it was delayed until 2026 after the present government suspended the Tenders and added amendments.

Initially, it was estimated that Rs. 08 billion was required to complete the project.

However, after the new government tasked the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) with the project, the estimate had been increased to Rs. 14 billion.

Although it was initially planned to give more prominence to private data security and to obtain the necessary funds for this only from the Treasury, this decision too had later changed.

With the estimated budget increasing by another Rs. 06 billion after the project came under ICTA, measures have been taken to seek a grant from India to cover the deficiency. Accordingly, a grant of USD 01 billion is to secured.

According to reports, the grant is said to come with a large number of conditions, and a risk of data flowing towards India.

Reports say that the conditions include that the data collecting equipment, storage facilities and operating system should be obtained from Indian companies.

Although an agreement is yet to be signed, preliminary rounds of talks are said to have taken place.

However, the operating system for this project is planned to be obtained from an Indian company called MOSIP who in return, has obtained the relevant software through Bill Gates.

The company has entered agreements to provide software support for a number of such projects, but they are not yet operational.

The fact that Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India – Milinda Moragoda, Secretary to the Ministry of Technology – Jayantha de Silva as well as coordinators of ICTA – Dr. Hans Wijesuriya, and Sanjeewa Weerawarna pushing for the grant has also raised further doubts.

Experts in the field point out that the conditions under which this grant is secured pose a serious threat of 16.5 million Sri Lankan citizens’ primary and biometric data falling into the hands of another country.

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