Haryana’s mega data-gathering drive is more intrusive than Aadhaar | editorials | Hindustan Times
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Haryana’s mega data-gathering drive is more intrusive than Aadhaar

During the survey, the address of each house, photo, location, details of owner of the house, electricity connection, water connection, details of electronic devices, bank account numbers including IFSC code and Aadhaar and personal details such as mobile number, e-mail ID, educational qualification, religion and other details will be gathered.

editorials Updated: May 09, 2017 18:07 IST
The Manohar Lal Khattar government has decided to gather a detailed data of every resident and issue a sleek identity for every house in Haryana. The objective of this two-month long data generating exercise, to be launched on June 15, is to get details of land holdings and status of facilities such as social security pension, scholarship, MGNREGA, loans and LPG connection.
The Manohar Lal Khattar government has decided to gather a detailed data of every resident and issue a sleek identity for every house in Haryana. The objective of this two-month long data generating exercise, to be launched on June 15, is to get details of land holdings and status of facilities such as social security pension, scholarship, MGNREGA, loans and LPG connection.(HT)

The controversy over Aadhaar is yet to come to an end but the Haryana government has come up with another mega data-gathering initiative. The objective of this two-month long data generating exercise, to be launched on June 15, is to get details of land holdings and the status of facilities such as social security pension, scholarship, MGNREGA, loans and LPG connections.

During the survey, the address of each house, photo, location, details of owner of the house, electricity connection, water connection, details of electronic devices, bank account numbers including IFSC code and Aadhaar and personal details such as mobile number, e-mail ID, educational qualification, religion and other details will be gathered.

The data will be used to make sure that the benefits of 150 services of 87 departments are provided online, a government spokesperson said. During the survey, bank accounts will be opened for those who do not have one and Aadhaar cards will be made for the left out population.

Why is Haryana government keen on gathering so much new data when there is already such stiff opposition against Aadhaar, a vigorous debate on lack of privacy laws in this country and questions over security of data we hand over to the government? In other countries, data security laws require that a person be notified if her data has been breached.

In response to an RTI application asking whether UIDAI systems had ever been breached, the UIADAI responded that the information could not be disclosed for reasons of “national security”.

One would like to know what is the legal mechanism that Haryana has in case of data breach?

The UIADAI in Supreme Court has said Aadhaar is foolproof, and that leaks of “details may have been from the States... their offices and agencies”.

Can Haryana promise its residents that its technology is foolproof and that there will not be any leaks like the one we saw in Jharkhand late last month? Digital identities of more than a million citizens have been compromised by a programming error on a website maintained by the Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security. The glitch revealed the names, addresses, Aadhaar numbers and bank account details of the beneficiaries of Jharkhand’s old age pension scheme.