1. Supreme Court judge getting messages from banks, telcos to link Aadhaar

Supreme Court judge getting messages from banks, telcos to link Aadhaar

The Aadhaar matter hearing in the Supreme Court today witnessed some lighter moments when Justice A K Sikri said even he has been receiving messages from mobile service providers and the banks to link his account and phone number with Aadhaar.

By: | Published: November 3, 2017 7:51 PM
Aadhaar matter, Supreme Court, A K Sikri, Aadhaar, mobile service providers The Aadhaar matter hearing in the Supreme Court today witnessed some lighter moments when Justice A K Sikri said even he has been receiving messages from mobile service providers and the banks to link his account and phone number with Aadhaar. (Image: IE)

The Aadhaar matter hearing in the Supreme Court today witnessed some lighter moments when Justice A K Sikri said even he has been receiving messages from mobile service providers and the banks to link his account and phone number with Aadhaar. The issue about messages received from banks and mobile service providers was raised by senior lawyer K V Vishwanathan, who was representing one of the petitioners. Vishwanathan told the bench, which also comprised Justice Ashok Bhushan, that the people were “in a panicky situation” as the messages received from the banks and telecom service providers were threatening them of deactivation of accounts or mobile numbers if they failed to link them with Aadhaar. Attorney General K K Venugopal countered his submissions saying these were oral arguments only.

“I do not want to say this in the presence of media people, but I am also receiving such messages,” Justice Sikri said. During the hearing, Vishwanathan said the Centre should tell the banks and mobile service providers not to send such messages but they should instead inform the customers about the last date of linking Aadhaar. The apex court later made it clear that banks and telecom service providers will have to indicate the last date of linking the accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar in their communications with the customers. At present, the last date to link Aadhaar with bank accounts is December 31 this year while for mobile numbers, it is February 6, 2018.

The bench also observed that the petitioners could raise all issues before another bench which would commence the final hearing on Aadhaar-related matters in the last week of this month. The recent affidavit filed by the Centre in the top court in Aadhaar matter was also referred to during the hearing. Regarding linking of bank accounts with Aadhaar, the Centre has said in its affidavit that though the last date was December 31, it may be extended up to March 31 next year. “Therefore, until March 31, 2018, existing bank accounts will not be made non-operational for not linking with Aadhaar. But as far as opening of new bank accounts are concerned, Aadhaar or enrolment ID must be given as proof of identity,” it said. On mobile number linking, it said since the apex court’s February 6 this year order required Aadhaar-based e-KYC verification of subscribers within one year, the February 6, 2018 deadline for this cannot be modified by the government unilaterally.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 3, 2017 at 10:26 pm
    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 3, 2017 at 10:26 pm
      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 3, 2017 at 10:25 pm
        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
        1. R
          Reader
          Nov 3, 2017 at 10:25 pm
          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.
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