As the controversy over Aadhaar rages on, noted IT veteran and tech investor Mohandas Pai said today that the biometric ID is the biggest tool for empowering the poor. He also pitched for privacy laws to prevent the misuse of Aadhaar. “One must understand, Aadhaar is the biggest tool of empowerment for poor and others,” Pai told PTI in an email interview here. There is no evidence of any breach of iris or fingerprint data which is encrypted in Aadhaar, he said on the Tribune controversy about the misuse of access by certain vendors. On the issue of flouting of privacy by some states and private entities, he said: “This has nothing to do with UIDAI, but the misuse of Aadhaar data.” The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issues Aadhaar. On January 5, the Delhi Police had registered an FIR based on a complaint by UIDAI over reporting of alleged Aadhaar data breach. It was registered against the “unknown” accused.
Biocon Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said one should not confuse reports which suggest data breach with the critical importance of Aadhaar in India. “If FIR had not been filed we could have had a sensible discussion on the need to improve secure access. Aadhaar cannot and must not be sacrificed because of recent events,” she said.