ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Fait Accompli

The government and UIDAI are answerable to citizens for the Aadhaar project going dangerously awry.

Each time the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is confronted with how unsafe the huge database it has accumulated of the personal information of millions of Indians is, it prefers to bury its head deeper in the sand. Yet again, when a reporter from the Tribune newspaper in Chandigarh wrote about how she managed to purchase access to Aadhaar data by paying an agent a mere ₹ 500, the UIDAI responded by filing a case against the journalist, insisting that no harm had been done, and then introducing another step that citizens must take to keep their own personal data safe. Surely, the time has come to call the UIDAI’s bluff.

Being such a widespread and pervasive system, the Aadhaar project is a vulnerable target. There have been numerous instances of unauthorised access, publication and misuse of data. The most recent case was reported by the Tribune, exposing how unauthorised agents are selling and providing access to demo­graphic data. Earlier, we heard how the Airtel Payments Bank created accounts for mobile subscribers without their consent and diverted the money received via direct benefit transfers from their primary bank accounts to these payment bank accounts. Also, like many other government websites, a Jharkhand government website published the Aadhaar numbers, bank account details, names and addresses of over a million pensioners.

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Updated On : 19th Jan, 2018
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