The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a draft amendment to the Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance (Social Welfare, Innovation, Knowledge) Rules, 2020 whereby any entity other than the Ministry or department of the government can send a proposal to use Aadhaar authentication for services.
The Ministry has invited feedback for the amendments which can be submitted on the MyGov website by May 20.
“Any entity other than the Ministry or Department referred to in sub-rule(1), which is desirous of utilising Aadhaar authentication, shall prepare a proposal with justification in regard to the authentication sought being for a purpose specified in rule 3 and in the interest of State, and submit the same to the concerned Ministry or Department of the appropriate Government.”Section 3B of the notification
The notification further mentions that any entity that fulfils the following purposes, can get authorisation from the Central government to authenticate Aadhaar:
- Promoting ease of living for residents and enabling better access to services for them.
- Usage of digital platforms to ensure good governance.
- Prevention of dissipation of social welfare benefits.
- Enablement of innovation and the spread of knowledge.
As we can see from the above, the purposes are vague and without any objectivity. UIDAI’s Aadhaar has not been free from controversy. Back in 2018, many media handles claimed that UIDAI’s Aadhaar software has been hacked, but the authority was quick in dismissing all the reports.
As reported by Medianama, this notification can lead to a serious threat to people’s privacy by threatening their right to anonymity. Furthermore, the vague purposes mentioned can fuel the unnecessary use of Aadhaar for any service.
Moreover, it could lead to an increase in Aadhaar-related fraud. Having an Aadhaar card and understanding how to use one are different things altogether. Most of the population, especially the elder citizens are not tech-savvy and can be fooled easily.