Former US Intelligence contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden has once again raised concerns about the issue of privacy of Indians and said UIDAI’s Aadhaar scheme has become a massive mass surveillance system
Snowden said that the UIDAI’s response to the leakage of information reflects that it is about surveillance rather than benefitting people.
“A mass surveillance system has been created with Aadhaar in India,”Snowden said , speaking at an event in Jaipur via a video-conference, referring to the controversy wherein Android phone users found out that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) helpline number got added to their contact list.
“In India, if the Aadhaar system has to work then there should be criminal penalty on agencies for disclosing personal details. In India, the condition is like you can’t have a baby if you don’t have Aadhaar,” Snowden said.
While UIDAI stated that they were not responsible for the phone number issue and that it was Google’s fault.It was protecting people from being cheated and preventing stealing of benefits.
“This is forcing identity to an extent where one cannot have a child and get a birth certificate unless they have an Aadhaar number,” he said.