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Aadhar details behind five-feet thick walls assured safe

The government guaranteed to the supreme court that Aadhaar details are safe as ever and personal data collected from millions of people is safe from the breach in storage facilities barricaded behind five-feet thick walls.

Appearing before a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Tuesday, Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal urged the court to spare some time for UIDAI CEO to conduct a power-point presentation in open court to quell apprehensions about Aadhaar. The court remained non-committal.
Chief Justice Misra asked the government to put an end to apprehensions raised by petitioners, who their identity considered as a treasure, should also be compelled to part with their personal data to access services.

Read More: Do you want to use Bicycle in Metro station? Mail your Aadhar!

Mr. Venugopal explained that Aadhaar provides “a right to physically exist without lying on the pavement without food”. Mr. Venugopal quoted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi saying how only ?17 of ?100 spent on anti-poverty projects actually reaches the poor. The rest is eaten up by middlemen and public servants. He said the right to a dignified and meaningful life for the poor far outweighs right to privacy.

At one point, Justice Chandrachud said the government should admit that Aadhaar authentication has a problem with “financial exclusion”.

“The government should come upfront and tell us ‘look, there is a problem of financial exclusion’. A pensioner, let us say, who is 89 years of age, may have dementia or Alzheimer’s… you have to ensure that such people are not deprived of their entitlements. Their cases cannot be treated as aberrations. Besides, the pension is not a subsidy under the Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. It is a rightful entitlement,” Justice Chandrachud addressed Mr. Venugopal.
The government cannot deny there is financial exclusion merely because nobody excluded has yet complained to the Supreme Court, Justice Chandrachud said.

Venugopal said that the Aadhar details still in safe and the old issue related to the leakage of Aadhar details is now compromised and the safety is now ensured and pointed out that before the Aadhaar Act came into existence, the public had voluntarily enrolled for Aadhaar between 2009 and 2016.
“Even if I had volunteered, did you [UIDAI] have my informed consent? People did not accept the surrender of their personal data for commercialization. People did not surrender their personality,” Justice Chandrachud responded.

The A-G argued that Aadhaar enabled official identification of beneficiaries rendered for the poverty eradication. He said, for the poor, official identification was more than a convenience, but a human right.


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