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Aadhaar data breach: Committed to freedom of Press, says govt

The Delhi Police has registered an FIR (First Information Report) on a UIDAI official’s complaint over a newspaper report on alleged data breach of Aadhaar details, naming the reporter behind the story.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2018 23:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Aadhaar data breach,Tribune,Ravi Shankar Prasad
Employees mark their attendance through Aadhaar-based biometric system in the Planning Commission.(HT File Photo)

Law and Information Technology (IT) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Monday, told the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to seek the cooperation of The Tribune newspaper and its journalist Rachna Khaira in investigating the security breach in Aadhaar data that they had reported on January 3.

The publication had reported last week that its journalist was able to track down people offering access to the Aadhar data for ₹500. On January 7, the UIDAI reportedly filed a case against the journalist and three others named in her report, leading to widespread criticism.

After his call to UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the minister tweeted: “Govt is fully committed to freedom of Press as well as to maintaining security & sanctity of #Aadhaar for India’s development. FIR is against unknown. I’ve suggested @UIDAI to request Tribune & it’s journalist to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders.”

An official in Prasad’s office said, “He spoke with Dr Pandey. The idea is that the freedom of the press should not be compromised and access to information should not be scuttled.”

The UIDAI responded to the tweet by saying its officials will write to the newspaper and its reporter seeking assistance.

The intervention comes when the government is working on a cyber security ecosystem and a data protection law.

First Published: Jan 08, 2018 16:45 IST