In the existing law - Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, there was no provision for any person, including children, to opt out of Aadhaar ecosystem, once their names have been enrolled.
The government has proposed radical changes in the Aadhaar Act giving greater power to Aadhaar number holders for use of their Aadhaar numbers only through informed consent and also prevent any denial of services if an Aadhaar number holder is unable or unwilling to furnish it to any service provider. It has also proposed an option for children to completely opt out of Aadhaar number after attaining the age of 18 years.
Section 4 of Aadhaar and Other Laws Amendment Bill, 2018, which has been introduced in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday provides the option to completely opt out of Aadhaar number after becoming adult.
In the existing law – Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, there was no provision for any person, including children, to opt out of Aadhaar ecosystem, once their names have been enrolled.
Aadhaar is a voluntary identification but it permits parents to enroll their children. However, the enrollment of a child in the Aadhaar system with the consent of his or her parents may be considered violation of the child’s right to refuse the registration at the first place.
“A child who is an Aadhaar number holder may, within a period of six months of attaining the eighteen years of age, make an application to the Authority for cancellation of his Aadhaar number, in such manner as may be specified by regulations and the Authority shall cancel his Aadhaar number,” reads sub clause 2 of clause 4 of the Aadhaar and Other Laws Amendment Bill, 2018.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is the nodal agency for registration of Aadhaar and administration of related matters.
In a related development, the government today informed the Rajya Sabha that more than 123 crore Aadhaar numbers have been issued so far. This unique bio metric information based identification has become the most preferred method of authentication for availing various services and also as undisputed proof of a resident of India. However, Supreme Court had struck down section 57 of Aadhaar Act that permitted its use by private entities like telecom companies and banks.