‘Aadhaar’ – Final phase of the infamous Centralized Monitoring System?

“Aadhar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to every individual resident of India.  The Unique Identification Authority of India (UDAI), which functions under the Planning Commission of India, is responsible for managing Aadhar numbers and Aadhar identification cards.”

The author apprehends that the Aadhaar Act, 2016 which had been prima facie disguised as a money bill, is nothing more than the last measure or final phase of the highly controversial Indian Centralized Monitoring System (CMS).

Since the advent of CMS, there has been skepticism regarding its use. The Government had already indicated that CMS will be initiated in a phased manner. There is no other justification to link biometric data, DNA Profiling, and like things, which constitute personal sensitive data, with all the things starting from bank accounts to a mobile number. Such initiative only makes sense when seen in coercion with the CMS.

I believe that the Aadhaar initiative will significantly hinder the right to privacy, which emanated from the fundamental right to life and personal liberty.

With the central government’s push for linking Aadhaar from bank-accounts to PAN account, it is imperative to look at some of the conspiracy theories in this regard, one such conspiracy theory relating to linking of Aadhar as a measure of mass surveillance by the central government and thus the diminishing right to privacy of the Indian citizens.

“Linking Aadhaar to nearly everything creates a “map of maps” that is vulnerable at multiple points.”

India is the second biggest population in the world and by linking Aadhar with sensitive personal data of individuals, such metadata is prone to misutilization by non-state entities – given the Government’s current state of cybersecurity. Although, the “Aadhar project was initiated as an attempt towards having a single, unique identification document…” so that it could serve as the sole identification proof for a majority of things. However, I don’t find such objective being served anymore. Certainly, there are additional facets to this contentious topic, however, I would limit myself to this brief outlay of the problem.

The right to privacy of Indian citizens has seriously trembled with the Aadhar initiative and its time to pause and reflect.

 

Image from here.

Siddhant Sharma

Siddhant is a Patent and Intellectual Property lawyer. He finds joy in exploring and writing about niche areas of law. He is finding better ways to describe the patent profession to a five-year old and a sixty-five year old.

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