Microsoft is working with the Indian government to link Skype with the Aadhar database to see if the video calling service can be used to make authenticated calls with government institutions and others.
Answering a question from IndianExpress.com during a meeting with select media persons here, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft Corporation said they have been very enthusiastic and have “embraced the universal ID system”.
“We have been pursuing work, initially on a pilot basis, to use this specific technology and integrate it with Skype. We see Skype evolving in a way that will enable someone at home to authenticate themselves with using that ID system with a fingerprint or iris scan and then communicate with someone on the other end, maybe even a government agency, which will know that person is the same as he or she is claiming to be,” Smith said, adding that this will enable people to testify in a government proceeding or get a licence.
The kind of convenience this can bring to people’s lives will be significant, he said, adding how you will not need to travel long distances for many requirements and will be able to do things in front of a computer.
Responding to a query on how Microsoft viewed the entire Indian digital framework being on Open Source, Smith said the Microsoft thinks Open Source and proprietary software will coexist. “We think this was a debate in 2006 and now there is a healthy future for software in every form. As the world moves to the cloud, more open source software will coexist. In fact, 25 percent of the workload on Microsoft Azure are run on Linux,” he said, adding this was now a mainstream technology trend. “Five years from now there will be open-source applications of all kind running in the three Microsoft data centres out of India too,” he added.
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Along with the launch of the data centres, that will keep customer data within the country, Smith said Microsoft was also working closely with the government on setting up the Cyber Security Engagement Centre (CSEC) under the digital crimes unit of the company. “The centre will work with law enforcement agencies as well as customers and help stakeholders fight cyber crimes,” he added. Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said the company was also offering security consulting to organisations with critical infrastructure like power plants and defence.