Over 100 crore people, including 93 per cent of the adult population, nowhave an Aadhaar number, the government said on Monday and sought to allay fears about data privacy.
“We have put in place all safeguards in the Bill to ensure privacy,” Minister for Communication and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters, adding the Aadhaar Act complied with the standards set by the Supreme Court to ensure privacy in cases of phone tapping.
“As per Section 29 of the law, core biometrics that are fingerprints and iris, shall not be shared with anyone for any reason whatsoever,” Mr. Prasad said.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had generated 100 crore Aadhaar numbers in five-and half years since the first Aadhaar was issued in 2010.
The direct benefit transfer scheme for LPG cylinders led to savings worth Rs. 14,672 crore, he said, adding that the government would persuade the Supreme Court to allow more avenues for using Aadhaar.
“Earlier, there was no legal basis for the Aadhaar initiative but now there is a proper law duly framed, I think that will go a long way in assuaging the concerns,” Mr. Prasad said.
The Supreme Court had permitted voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes that included MGNREGA, all pension schemes and provident fund.