Recently there is a new initiative by Indian Government for their citizens named ‘DigiLocker’. If we go by name, it suggests that ‘DigiLocker’ is some kind of a digital locker. But exactly what is it? This question comes to our mind once we hear this name. So let us start with what DigiLocker is?
‘DIGILocker’ is the name given to a new digital locker service being initiated by Narendra Modi government under its Digital India program. It provides a secure dedicated personal electronic space for storing the e-documents to resident Indian citizens. The storage space (currently 10 MB) is linked to the Aadhar number of the user. The space can be utilized for storing personal documents like University certificates, PANcards, voter id cards, etc. There is also an associated facility for e signing documents and space to save URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers) of other documents.
The service is intended to minimize the use of physical documents and to provide authenticity of the e-documents. It will also provide secure access to Govt. issued documents. It is also intended to reduce administrative expenses of Govt. departments and agencies and to make it easy for the residents to receive services.
This program is supervised by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Govt. of India.
So in short ‘DigiLocker’ is an online storage space for Indian citizens provided by Indian Government for storing important official documents. But there has been a lot of such online services already available like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. then why someone will use ‘DIgiLocker’? How ‘DigiLocker’ is different from ‘Dropbox’ or ‘Google Drive’?
Though ‘Dropbox’ or ‘Google Drive’ provides free cloud storage far much greater then ‘DigiLocker’ there are some points which makes ‘DigiLocker’ an attractive tool.
1. If we store anything in ‘Dropbox’ or ‘Google drive’, we are governed under US regulations and there is no direct protection under the Indian IT Act, whereas ‘DigiLocker’ provides direct protection under the Indian IT act 2000.
2. ‘DigiLocker’ account and the data is directly linked to user’s Aadhar number thus providing more security unlike the ‘Dropbox’ or ‘Google Drive’ which requires just an email address and password to access one’s account.
3. Similar to online banking transactions, ‘DigiLocker’ also sends an OTP every time someone access his account, something which is absent in other storage tools.
Technologically, there’s no difference between DigiLocker and Google Drive, and despite the NSA revelations by Snowden, 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. They’re all giving us 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.
So if we go with the above points ‘DigiLocker’ is a better secure tool and 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).