Govt Earned Rs 100 Crore By Selling Your Driving License Data To BMW, Axis Bank, Bajaj & 170 Entities
On 12 February, the transport minister Nitin Gadkari revealed that the government obtained as much as Rs 100 crore by selling vehicular information from online government databases Vahan and Sarathi. The ministry shared the data on the basis of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.
Who Bought Vahan And Sarathi Databases?
It is a set of information that contains details of all the registered vehicles and driving license in India. While addressing Lok Sabha, Gadkari told that the government has raised exactly Rs 1,11,38,79,757 by selling this data.
The Vahan and Sarathi databases were provided to automakers like BMW and Mercedes Benz, insurance companies like Axis Bank, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, and L&T Financial Service; law enforcement agencies, the home ministry, and 170 related entities.
Is It Allowed To Sell Databases?
the transport ministry had issued the bulk data sharing policy in March 2019 which granted the government permission to sell the vehicular data. According to this policy, the private entities were expected to pay ?3 crores to get access to bulk data. For educational institutes, the same was available at Rs 5 lakh if it was for research purposes.
However, it also scrapped the policy in the month of June a year later in a collective decision along with the home affairs ministry and the National Informatics Centre. This was done over privacy concerns and to avoid potential misuse of data.
But even then the companies continue to hold bulk data. When asked if the government will demand these companies delete such data, Gadkari denied the consideration of any such proposal.
The government has decided to share the vehicular data under Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 from now on. Nitin Gadkari also highlighted that the analytical report of the vehicular data available in the national register on the portal may be kept accessible for use by citizens and stakeholders, instead of sharing bulk data to any entity on the basis of cost.