Episode 4 Articles
Access to identity systems is almost always mediated through other actors. Entire industries have sprung up in India based on this. What are the day to day practices ‘across the desk’ from the end user or citizen? What motivates providers of identity-based systems and transactions to be helpful or unhelpful? Are they themselves supported enough by their institutions or not? What kinds of innovations (‘jugaad’) develop amongst mediators to negotiate the confines of the state? And finally, how can we better understand the reasons why practices and workarounds may have emerged, and feed them up to systems designers?
When we asked people “what if people find out about your personal information?” it seemed as if people didn’t particularly care; whereas when we started asking "what are things that you wouldn’t want other people to know about you?”, the responses were much more revealing.
Our episodes so far have focused on the users of identity systems - but there’s one group of users we haven’t examined yet: the people, bureaucrats and officials, working the identity system frontline. In this story, we look at identity transactions from the perspective of the bureaucrats and staff who are responsible for implementing identity systems in India.