According to Guardian India government started issuing unique identification numbers (UID) to the country citizens. 12 digit number plays similar role in identification as Social Security Number in the US. Main purpose of the project is to reach government programs beneficiaries directly without any middlemen. Programs like food subsidies have failed to reach people in need in the past. The agency running the program UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) plans to spend $10 billion to cover 600 million people. High cost and risk of secure data misuse have already spiked controversy around the program. Critics mention national photo ID card program recent failure in the UK.