Punjab government directs its officers not to share Aadhaar info
Publishing of identity information – Aadhaar number and demographic info – is in clear contravention of the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016 and is an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years.punjab Updated: May 14, 2017 20:52 IST
The Punjab government has warned its officers and departments against sharing or publishing Aadhaar number and demographic details of people either online or in offline mode.
In a communication to all additional chief secretaries, principal secretaries, administrative secretaries and deputy commissioners, the directorate of governance reforms has stated that publishing of identity information – Aadhaar number and demographic info – is in clear contravention of the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016 and is an offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years.
“Further publishing of financial information, including bank details being sensitive personal data, is also in contravention of provisions under IT Act 2000 with variations liable to pay damages by way of compensation to person affected,” reads the letter sent by special secretary, governance reforms, following a memorandum received from the Centre in this regard.
- The communiqué is important as the department of welfare of scheduled castes, backward classes and minority had put the Aadhaar number, bank account details and other information of thousands of beneficiaries under the scholarship schemes for meritorious students for 2014-15 on its official website.
- The data breach, which compromised the identities of thousands of beneficiaries of the government’s schemes in Punjab, was in violation of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) guidelines that restrain the institutions from disclosing Aadhaar details of individuals.
In the letter sent out about 15 days ago, the governance reforms department has asked the officers to adhere to guidelines about data sharing as laid down in the IT Act 2000 and Aadhaar Act 2016. They have also been asked to secure and safeguard the data available in print or in the form of soft copies. “No data should be shared in any form directly or indirectly with any individual or agency without express permission of office of Registrar General of India or Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI),” it said.