India suggests cloud storage to slow the spread of coronavirus

Citizens advised to put away their papers and use the national data locker instead

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India is advising its citizens that cloud storage can help to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The world's most populous country operates a national cloud document locker named Digilocker that offers every citizen one gigabyte of storage. The service is linked to many state and federal government services who can use the service to issue documents such as the contentious Aadhaar national biometric identifier, or driving licences. Commercial entities can use Digilocker too, with motorcycle insurance policies already the service's third-most-popular use.

And as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, India has started to promote the service as a hands-free way to produce documents.

It's unclear if the new promotion is having much effect. As Digilocker's own statistics show, the adoption curve for the service has rather flattened with few month-on-month user increases August 2019's bump of around four million users. Indeed, the current user population is just shy of 37 million, leaving 1.27 billion or so Indians to go.

India's also urging its populace to use contactless payments during the crisis, and to use its tax and courts systems apps, all in the name of social distancing.

And in case all that app usage creates another issue, the government is also advising on the need to regularly clean smartphones. ®

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