Sharing Aadhaar data: HC notice to Centre, Reliance

Updated - March 06, 2017 03:00 am IST

Published - December 14, 2016 08:02 pm IST - KOCHI:

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central government, chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and Reliance-Jio Private Limited on a public interest writ petition against the action of the Centre in allowing the company to obtain Aadhaar information of customers through biometric authentication.

The petition was filed by Sunil T.G., general secretary of Kerala Pradesh Youth Congress. According to him, as per the Aadhaar Act, all data collected by Aadhaar authority had to be preserved in a permanent locking manner and it could be unlocked only by the holder through the biometric authentication.’

Reliance Jio Private Limited had suggested an alternative mode to furnish identity verification thorough biometric authentication for its mobile connection According to it, the customer having Aadhaar number could authenticate their information with Aadhaar repository and could get their new mobile connection activated within two hours after the authentication.

The petitioner pointed out that customers who availed themselves of the mobile connection by biometric authentication was not informed how long the company would retain the information and about the kind of information they would share.

The Aadhaar authority had undertaken that they would not disclose the core biometric information to anybody. There was a strict bar on sharing the core biometric information. The illegal permission granted by UIDAI and the Centre was in violation of the Adhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, benefits and Services) Act; 2016.

The government policy to share the information with private sector corporate giants was a deviation from the norms fixed by the Act. The Centre’s action in allowing sharing the information was an intrusion into the common man’s privacy.

The petitioner sought a directive to the Cabinet Secretary and chairman of the UIDAI to show cause under what authority they had permitted the company for authenticating of Aadhaar information.

He also sought to cancel the permission given to the company for authentication of data from Aadhaar repository. According to the petitioner, the company was very influential and no common man could expect security of the information shared with them.

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