As Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench advocated for a “robust” law to protect the sensitive information of citizen during the Aadhaar hearing, a question asked by Justice Chandrachud during the hearing made an interesting case: What if a pizza chain shares its customers’ information with its health insurance firm? The question was asked from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chief Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
To which, he explained in a TV interview explained that there is “no law that requires a pizza company to ask for your Aadhaar number.” The UIDAI chief in the apex court had testified that no breach of biometric details has taken place in seven years.
“If anyone asks your Aadhaar number you can refuse to provide Aadhaar number- number one,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey said in an interview with CNBC-TV18. He said that the pizza company will be able to know other information that is related to a general data protection law and not Aadhaar.
On concerns of even such information being shared, Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “We are moving to a regime where such kind of an intermingling of data between the various agencies are prohibited and without consent, it cannot be done.” He once again clarified that the impression that just because Aadhaar is being linked with various services and also liked to bank accounts exposes details of money in your account is not correct.
The Aadhaar Act and its mandatory linking are being heard in the Supreme Court, where multiple petitions have challenged it over privacy and constitutionality. Aadhaar — the 12-digit unique identity — came under a lot of criticism earlier this year when a newspaper report said that details of individuals were up for sale for Rs 500. The UIDAI, while assuring to step-up its security details, rejected claims that biometric details of individuals were breached.
Privacy is currently a hot topic around the globe after it was revealed that social-networking site Facebook shared data of its 87 million users with British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which were used to influence voters. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the scandal and vowed to enhance its privacy.