Mumbai, Jan 22 (Agencies): Activists and researchers on Saturday raised doubts over security of the data being collected for the Unique Identification (UID) project and its public utility.

"The personal information being collected for the UID would be stored in a central database system without assuring protection against data theft. There could be a possibility of profiling, tracking and surveillance with the help of the information," Usha Ramanathan, an independent law researcher, said here on Saturday at a press conference.

There are also doubts over the efficacy of the project. The UID claims better delivery of public schemes such as PDS or NREGA but does not say how would it help the people, Ramanathan said.

"The UID number will only guarantee identity, not rights, benefits, or entitlements. In fact, when UID is not compatible with records in ration shops, how the Government is going to plug leakages in the public schemes?", Associate Professor from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, R Ramakumar wondered.

Besides, the infallibility of biometric fingerprints and iris scan is still being tested. The evidences have begun to emerge those callused hands, corneal scars and cataract induced by malnourishment may leave many millions outside this pattern of identification, Ramanathan claimed.

The Nandan Nilekani-led project, which is the UPA government's most ambitious one so far, would provide a unique identity number to all Indians.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had handed over the first Aadhaar card at Tembhli village in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra in September last year.