New Delhi, April 25: The Unique Identification Authority of India notification of September 2016 says, “The Aadhaar number of an individual shall not be published, displayed or posted publicly by any person or entity or agency.”
However, a number of cases have been reported where the Aadhaar identity of score of people have been compromised by government itself.
While IT Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in the Rajya Sabha, on 10th April 2017 batted complete privacy of Aadhar and said “…there is no data leak, there is no systematic problem, but, if any one tries to be smart, the law ignites into action,” Aadhaar data breach is now reported by a central government ministry.
The Union Water and Sanitation Ministry have uploaded Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin on its website till Monday evening, reported Indian Express.
The official website of Swachh Bharat Mission displayed blockwise data of beneficiaries across all states along with their Aadhaar numbers online. However as the news broke regarding the Aadhar privacy breach spread, the details were no more visible on the website.
Swachch Bharat is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet program and thus the website is maintained by the nodal ministry for cleanliness mission.
Leaving aside the technical glitches involved in the process, the agency that is in possession of the Aadhaar numbers is also legally liable to ensure security and confidentiality of the numbers.
The Aadhaar Act of 2016 makes public disclosure of the numbers a punishable act for three-year term and fine.
Just a day before, a similar breach was reported in Chandigarh, wherein Union Territory administration displayed Aaadhar numbers of PDS beneficiaries on the ePDS website. It was maintained by National Informatics Centre.
As the news was reported, the administration blocked these details online.
Recently Central government has made it mandatory to link one’s Aadhaar details with bank accounts and PAN numbers. The opposition parties strictly opposed the amendment and the Supreme Court also issued notice to government on the same. The Aadhaar is basically a person’s unique identity number which is secure with other sensitive information including address, biometric information and retina scan of individuals. The breach thus can compromise the privacy and security of millions of people.