Can extend deadline for those who don’t have Aadhaar: Centre

The extension will, however, apply only to those willing to enroll for the scheme, and not for those who already have Aadhaar

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 26, 2017 4:00 am
Aadhaar, Aadhaar seeding, Linking Aadhaar to bank account, AIBOC, AIBOC on Aadhaar, India news, Indian Express The A-G said the government is hopeful of having a final version of the law by February 2018. (Representational image)

Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that it is open to extending the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various programmes for those who do not have the unique identity yet. The deadline may be extended from December 31 this year to March 31, 2018, the court was told. The extension will, however, apply only to those willing to enroll for the scheme, and not for those who already have Aadhaar, Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud.

There will be no change in deadline for those already possessing Aadhaar — they will have to “seed/link” it with their SIM cards, bank accounts, PAN card and other schemes “where section 7 notifications have been issued”, according to a note drawn up by Venugopal. Section 7 of Aadhaar Act empowers the central and state governments to require an individual to furnish proof of Aadhaar to avail its schemes.

Raising objection, the petitioners said that there are many who have the unique ID but do not want to link it with bank accounts, phone numbers, etc. The bench then asked the A-G whether the court can be assured that no coercive action will be taken against such people at least until March 31, 2018. Venugopal said he will take instructions from the government on this and get back by October 30.

Senior counsel Shyam Divan, who appeared for the petitioners, said the petition had been pending since 2014 and must be given urgent hearing. “Please hear it in November. The Attorney-General had agreed to be ready for hearing in November,” Divan pleaded. Venugopal told the court that the Justice B Srikrishna panel, constituted by the Centre to draw up a data protection policy, is reviewing the entire issue of data protection. At a meeting on October 16, the committee had asked its various working groups “to provide specific comments/amendments on clauses of the draft Data Protection Bill”, Venugopal said.

The A-G said the government is hopeful of having a final version of the law by February 2018. Justice Chandrachud agreed that time is needed to make a data protection law. “It is not easy. Countries around the world are struggling to make data protection laws,” he said. Senior counsel Arvind Datar said the seeding exercise violates privacy rights. The court asked the A-G to mention the matter before it on October 30.

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  1. R
    Reader
    Oct 26, 2017 at 6:02 am
    The Supreme Court is yet to take a decision on the validity of Aadhaar and whether the State can compulsorily link Aadhaar to various programs and all financial transactions. The Supreme Court is set to hear peti-tions related to Aadhaar including those for scrapping the Aadhaar Act, stopping biometric profiling, halting bank and mobile databases seeding with Aadhaar, etc. in November 2017.
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    1. R
      Reader
      Oct 26, 2017 at 6:04 am
      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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      1. R
        Reader
        Oct 26, 2017 at 6:08 am
        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, and the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked. The other reasons were the unreliability of such a large-scale biometric verification processes, and the ethics of using biometric identification. (Google: Identi-ty Cards Act 2006 and Identi-ty Documents Act 2010 )
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        1. R
          Reader
          Oct 26, 2017 at 6:10 am
          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.
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