Aadhar Card is an identity document, digital gateway to multiple government and private services amongst several other things. While Aadhar gave several benefits to the citizens of India, it also presented some worries in terms of privacy and data handling. It was reported that several agencies were misusing the Aadhar database, which became a major worry across the country and eventually the Supreme court of India gave its verdict in the Aadhar Act and the verdict paves the way for some services whereas banned several services from using Aadhar and updating it in their database.
While the supreme court upheld the constitutional sanctity of Aadhar along and acknowledged that it does not violate the right to privacy of the citizens, it also issued several directions. Here are the key areas where the Aadhar Card update was put on a ban.
- Commercial Banks
Most commercial banks were insisting their customers to complete their KYC with Aadhar Card in order to continue their services, the court order had put a restriction on Banks to collect Aadhar Card details and put a complete ban on such collection.
- Payment Wallets
Payment Wallets found Aadhar Card as a fast and secure way to authenticate the KYC of consumers. Being completely digital the payment gateways could complete KYCs almost in real-time. However, there is now a complete ban on the payment wallets on the collection of Aadhar Data in order to ensure privacy for the Aadhar cardholders.
- Mobile Services
While the telecom service providers were finding it really easy to authenticate and complete the KYC procedure using Aadhar e-authentication. There is now a complete ban and on collecting such data and telecom service providers cannot access the Aadhar data now.
Schools cannot ask for Aadhar Card details for admissions or other purposes and no services can be stopped for the same reason. Earlier a lot of schools had issued notifications to students and parents to complete their Aadhar based KYC.
- CBSE, NEET and UGC
Similar to schools, the central boards and examination conducting authorities also had started collecting the Aadhar data of all aspirants. There is now a complete ban and no such institution can ask for Aadhar data. This ensures that Aadhar data is not misused under any circumstances.
Financial Technology providers and NBFCs were using Aadhar e-authentication to complete the KYC of loan seekers and other consumers of financial services in almost real-time with Aadhar. While this ensured that Fintech companies and NBFCs offered faster services, it also means that the Aadhar data was in multiple hands. Thus, now no Fintech or such companies can ask for Aadhar data and their access to Aadhar authentication has been revoked.
- Private Entities
In a much-needed respite to the citizens across the country, the supreme court of India in its landmark verdict declared that no private entities can get access to Aadhar data or complete e-authentication using Aadhar digital framework. Thus, no company can seek our Aadhar data from us.
Aadhar through its secure and digital framework has helped the government to offer the services to every deserving citizen and has helped make a huge saving for the nation. Some examples of public services that have benefited from the use of Aadhar services are:
- Food and Public Distribution
- Rural Development
- Petroleum and Natural Gas
- Minority Affairs
- Social Justice and Empowerment
With all these restrictions and bans the government and court ensured that Aadhar does not result in India becoming a surveillance state and the visibility of public data was kept to as minimal as possible. The court had mentioned that it was now almost impossible to profile a person based upon the basic biometrics information collected for the Aadhar Card.
To summarise, the basic goal of Aadhar card is to help citizens avail services and government to offer welfare for the right individuals and in order to maintain the privacy of citizens across the country there are multiple curbs put on the usage of Aadhar Card including a complete restriction on all private companies to access or authenticate using the Aadhar data framework. The citizens can thus live fear-free and use their Aadhar card only the to comes to availing critical services especially from the government.
Read More: How to protect from misuse of Aadhar Card?