Ever since UIDAI powered Aadhar platform has been introduced in India, there has been growing concern regarding its safety and security. When sensitive data of 100 crore+ citizens are stored in a database, protected by Govt. babus, then fear is bound to surface.
But Govt. had been assuring since last 7 years, ever since the concept of Aadhaar was introduced, that all forms of data stored under Aadhaar is safe. And we had to believe that.
But not anymore.
For the first time ever, Govt. of India has admitted that Aadhaar data has been leaked online, and some vital details of some individuals now stand exposed. This is no doubt a brave admission, but what it basically means that a layer of trust has been broken.
How can we be sure that no further data leaks will happen? And more importantly, how will Govt. of India convince us that hackers and anti-social elements won’t be able to misuse Aadhaar data now?
It is indeed a sticky situation now.
Govt. Of India: Yes, Aadhaar Data Has Been Leaked
Indian Express has accessed a confidential letter written by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, wherein the acceptance is clearly mentioned regarding Aadhaar data leak.
In the letter, Archana Dureja, who is a scientist in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has explicitly stated that Aadhaar leak is a reality, and few online searches can reveal tonnes of Aadhaar data, which should have been confidential and out of public records.
The letter says: “There have been instances wherein personal identity or information of residents, including Aadhaar number and demographic information and other sensitive personal data such as bank account details etc. collected by various Ministries/Departments… has been reportedly published online and is accessible through an easy online search”
Clearly, this admittance points to the news we covered, wherein a simple Google search revealed thousands of rows of sensitive Aadhaar data of thousands of Indian citizens, most of them are still available online.
Compensation For Those Whose Aadhaar Data Was Revealed?
The letter says that the agencies responsible for this major data leak are liable to pay compensation to those individuals, whose Aadhaar data was leaked online.
The letter says: “The offending parties are liable to pay damages in the form of compensation to persons affected..”
Besides, the letter again points to the fact that sharing Aadhaar data is a punishable offense under Aadhaar Act, and the persons responsible can be jailed for three years. But it was not mentioned whether Govt. agencies will indeed take action against those responsible or not.
And, how will Govt. compensate those whose data was accidentally revealed.
Forget about the common man, even celebrities are not spared, when it comes to Aadhaar data leak. Earlier this week, we had reported how sensitive Aadhaar data of ace cricketer MS Dhoni was leaked online, due to the callous attitude of an official from Govt. appointed agency.
Although the concerned agency has been blacklisted for 10 years, but doubts and apprehensions still remain. Especially now, when the Govt. has admitted about Aadhaar data leak.
We will keep you updated as we receive more information on this news.