Aadhaar Data Leakage Effect– Govt Prohibits Putting Aadhaar Data Online
The government has now issued a number of strict guidelines to protect the data specific Aadhaar details, identities and other several information on cards. Over last few days, there have been many reports giving instances of how Aadhaar data can easily be accessed online – these guidelines have been put in place to ensure that such instances are eliminated.
The guidelines have a whole set of 27 specified Dos and Don’ts which have been circulated among the government departments on how they should be handling all the sensitive data. The document issued by the Centre has a set of instructions, which the government departments now have to follow on a regular basis.
Among other things, Government has now completely prohibited publishing any sort of personal data online, which includes publication of any Aadhaar data on any kind of public domain or website. The circular stated that there will be a series of legal consequences if there is any breach of data and strictly warned all the government departments to keep a minute check on all the future activities. Even under the Aadhaar Act, publication of any kind of Aadhaar numbers or data of beneficiaries is illegal.
This move from the government will certainly be a step forward towards securing personal data on these public domains. The Jharkhand data leak incident, and the leak of the data of 130 million Aadhaar cardholders led to a huge backlash, and the government was blamed for mishandling private data. The leaked data was uploaded on different websites and was easily accessible with a simple Google search.
In another instance, an Aadhaar Centre tweeted the picture of Dhoni authenticating his fingerprints with a screenshot of the Dhoni’s Aadhaar page and made it public. The UIDAI later took action, when Dhoni’s wife Sakshi complained to the IT minister on Twitter, of how irresponsible the officials are.
Late Action from Government
The government could have probably avoided such instances if these guidelines would have been issued earlier, but it’s still debatable whether they are strong enough or will be effective to stop such leaks.
As they say, better late than never, the newly issued guidelines might at least provide some future security. It gives an impression, that the government is at least doing something to take care of the privacy of the identity data of its own people. Though India still doesn’t have any data privacy laws like other developed nations, still some effort to protect the data will be the next step towards enactment of such laws in the country.