As per new regulations, the government will now keep a record for seven years of all services and benefits that are availed using Aadhaar number. Fearing that the database might be used for surveillance, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will preserve the records.
UIDAI chief executive office ABP Pandey said that the concerns regarding Aadhar card-related benefits were “exaggerated” and that the agency will keep the records in case any disputes arise in the future.
Pandey added that the information will be available online for two years and shall be shifted to the offline archives for the next five years. In that case, users will be able to check the records only for two years. However, the rules won’t apply for security agencies and that they will need a district judge’s permission to access the data.
According to HT, the rules allow designated joint secretary-level officers at the Centre to order access to information on the grounds of national security.
Talking about this Sunil Abraham, director of the Bengaluru-based think tank, Centre for Internet and Society said that once Aadhar becomes mandatory, it can be misused to conduct a 360-degree surveillance on any person.
Every time a person fingerprints and quotes the Aadhaar number, the agency concerned sends the data to UIDAI to crosscheck the particulars.
The UIDAI authenticates about five million Aadhaar numbers, which are quoted to avail LPG subsidy, cheap ration and even passport, a day against a capacity to verify 100 million requests daily, reports HT.
Meanwhile, The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched a drive to enrol any leftover population for Aadhaar in 22 states and UTs that have “statistically” hit 100 per cent coverage for adults.
The ‘Challenge drive’ starts from October 15 for a month, a UIDAI statement said, adding that as of today, over 106.69 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated across the country.