Aadhaar act kicks in as govt notifies rules
The government has come out with a set of rules mandating agencies to inform people the manner in which their information will be used and the nature of recipients with whom it is intended to be shared to ensure that data collected for issuing Aadhaar – the 12 digit identity number – is not misused, a concern raised by rights activists.
These details will be part of the enrolment form that a person applying for the Aadhaar number has to fill.
“Disclosure of information to residents at the time of enrollment will ensure that the latter is fully aware of the agencies with whom his biometric and demographic data is being shared,” ABP Pandey, chief executive of Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI, told Hindustan Times.
The rules were notified on Wednesday under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial, and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
It also mandates that agencies will also have to tell individuals that they have the right to access this information and the system in place for the same. Authorities will also have to seek the consent of an individual to collect, store and use his Aadhaar number for a specified purpose.
If a person does not give his consent, the individual will have to be told the alternative to submission of Aadhaar number.
The rules with respect to enrolment, authentication, data security and how information is to be shared also make it mandatory that all data collected by different service agencies are stored in data centres located in India. And, UIDAI will also have to set up contact centres for resolution of queries and grievances of residents.
Allaying fears that those eligible for subsidies and government welfare programmes could be deprived of the benefits because they hadn’t been enrolled in Aadhaar, Pandey said that no government department can deny services in case a person does not have the unique identity number.
“The onus will be on the central or state department to ensure enrollment of beneficiaries who do not have Aadhaar through appropriate measures, including setting up enrollment centres at convenient locations,” he said.