1. Aadhaar Card, mobile number linking: Constitution bench to take final call

Aadhaar Card, mobile number linking: Constitution bench to take final call

Refusing to stay the linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts, the Supreme Court on Friday left the issue to be decided by a Constitution bench in November.

By: | New Delhi | Published: November 4, 2017 6:16 AM
mobile aadhaar linking, supreme court on mobile aadhaar linking, how to link mobile with aadhaar However, it sought response from the government on various petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit unique biometric identification number. (Source: IE)

Refusing to stay the linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts, the Supreme Court on Friday left the issue to be decided by a Constitution bench in November. However, it sought response from the government on various petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit unique biometric identification number. A bench led by Justice AK Sikri, while asking the public not to panic, told the government to direct mobile service providers and banks to specify the last dates for linking mobile numbers and bank accounts to Aadhaar in the SMSs and e-mails they send to their subscribers. Mobile service providers and banks have to specify that February 6, 2018 and December 31, 2017 are the last dates for linking Aadhaar to mobile numbers and banks, respectively.

It said that the question related to the validity of the Aadhaar scheme is scheduled to be heard in November-end and if by any chance the hearing is delayed or does not take place, the petitioners can seek extension for such linking from the Constitution bench. Attorney-general KK Venugopal agreed that there “is anyway time till December 31… heavens are not going to fall”.

Senior advocate Arvind Datar objected to how the government has threatened to close long-standing bank accounts if they are not linked to Aadhaar. He questioned how citizens can be asked to do so under money-laundering laws. Rule 2(b) of the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules of 2017 requires Aadhaar for opening new bank accounts and for verification of existing bank accounts by December 31, 2017, failing which the “bank accounts will cease to be operational”. Senior advocate Shyam Divan referred to a recently-filed affidavit by the Centre arguing that the government may extend the deadline for linking Aadhaar till March 31, 2018.

“There is no doubt that these arguments need consideration. The matter is going to come up in the last week of November and the time (to link Aadhaar with bank accounts) has been extended till December 31,” the bench said.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 4, 2017 at 6:32 am
    The biometrics-based Aadhaar program is inherently flawed. Biometrics can be easily lifted by external means, there is no need to hack the system. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. That is why advanced countries like the US, UK, etc. did not implement such a self-destructive biometrics-based system.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Nov 6, 2017 at 10:18 am
      If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help the person concerned. This is NOT like blocking an ATM card and taking a new one.
      Reply
    2. R
      Reader
      Nov 4, 2017 at 6:32 am
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information and the purposes it could be used for, the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked, and the unreliability of such large-scale biometric verification processes. The Aadhaar program was designed in 2009 by mainly considering the 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' of UK, but the UK stopped that project in 2010, whereas India continued the biometrics-based program. We must think why the United Kingdom abandoned their project and destroyed the data collected. (Google: 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' and 'Identi-ty Documents Act 2010' )
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Nov 4, 2017 at 6:31 am
        A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Nov 4, 2017 at 6:31 am
          The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
          Reply

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