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Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2019

Govt.allow voluntary use of Aadhaar as an identity proof

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ADHAR-MOHA_dNEW DELHI : Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Amid Opposition raising several objections to the proposed amendments in the bill, the Lok Sabha cleared the bill that seeks to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar as an identity proof.
The bill proposes to allow Aadhaar cardholders to use it as an identity proof to open bank accounts and procure mobile phone connections.The bill seeks to amend the Aadhaar Act 2016.

The Opposition, however, rejected the government’s proposed amendments and criticised the Centre during discussions to provide legal backing for voluntary seeding of biometric Aadhaar ID with mobile numbers and bank accounts.
Opposing the bill, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said the government used the ordinance route to bring in the legislation. He said the ordinance was issued by the last government (from 2014-19) and the current government has brought it as a legislation.
The government is “resorting to the ordinance route without any rhyme and reason”.Chowdhury said it was the UPA government, which brought in the law, to which Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the NDA government gave legal status to Aadhaar.

Meanwhile, The Trinamool Congress also opposed amendments to the Aadhaar law, saying it lacks transparency and strikes at the very heart of individual privacy. Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra said the bill speaks of a regulator which will govern various provisions.

Opposing the Aadhaar Bill 2016 in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha lawmaker Mahua Moitra said that the bill violates the Supreme Court judgment and lacks transparency.
“How can I be debating the bill and be able to give assent for something I am not clear about and which is not transparent about, sir,” she said asking for more transparency in the measure during a debate on the bill.
“This bill strikes at the very heart of the primacy of an individual, and privacy of an individual’s data. This is what the Supreme Court in their judgement also tried to talk about. There are three very problematic clauses in this amended bill,” said Ms Moitra.

She said Aadhaar was meant to provide services to the poor and was never meant to provide data. “Aadhaar has become a way to give information for private entities, my bank who has contracted to me, my telecom provider who has no business getting my biometric information”, said the Trinamool lawmaker.
“This bill strikes at the very heart of the primacy of an individual, and privacy of an individual’s data. This is what the Supreme Court in their judgement also tried to talk about. There are three very problematic clauses in this amended bill,” added Mahua Moitra.

She also stated that Addhar bill was meant to provide services to the poor and was never meant to provide data. “Aadhar has become a way to give information for Pvt entities, my bank who has contracted to me, my telecom provider who has no business getting my biometric information”, stated the TMC MP.

“I’m giving up my biometric data, my most personal data to a private agency. If Aadhar ecosystem fails you’re saying that there are viable means to recourse but I don’t know what they are. They haven’t been specified,” said the TMC MP. Speaking about section 5 of the bill, Mahua Moitra said, “There is no standard of privacy and security today.
There is no Data Protection Act. In the absence of data protection, how can you ask me to give up my information to a private agency? This is integral to the Bill, you can’t have the cart before the horse. You give us recourse put a viable framework we will give assent there is no problem.”
“I’m giving up my biometric data, my most personal data to a private agency. If Aadhaar ecosystem fails you’re saying that there are viable means to recourse but I don’t know what they are. They haven’t been specified,” said Ms Moitra.

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