The ‘Aadhaar’ database is undoubtedly one of the largest government databases in the world, where a 12 digit unique-identity alphanumeric number has been assigned to the majority of the Indian citizens. This database contains both the demographic as well as biometric data of the citizens. The main aim behind such a database is to create our country’s very own ‘economic data ecosystem’.
What started as a unique identification number to efficiently carry out the distribution of welfare to the needy has now turned into an all-pervasive tool that can arm the government with sensitive data of all Indians. At the core of this issue is the excess quantity of data being collected and saved as part of the scheme and the resulting privacy and security concerns being generated due to it.
The Aadhaar of today, in addition to basic personal information, includes biometric data like your fingerprints, your iris scan and now even your facial scans (albeit introduced as a safety feature). This is designed to address the issue of failed biometric authentication, as an alternative for people having difficulty authenticating, due to factors like worn out fingerprints, or changing biometric data due to old age, hard working conditions, accidents, etc.
Most debates around the Unique Identification Authority of India and Aadhaar primarily focus on privacy issues, security of the database and on the legality of making Aadhaar mandatory.
The Supreme Court on March 13, 2018, ruled that for now, citizens do not have to link their Aadhaar cards to any services including bank accounts and mobile phones. However, the biometric id is compulsory for accessing social welfare schemes and subsidies.
But even if these concerns are sorted out, there are many other concerns that need your immediate attention.
Here are the following things concerning Aadhaar you did not know -
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