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- Prelims – Current Affairs
In News: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has opposed a petition by Delhi Police seeking directions from the High Court that would allow investigators to match a suspect’s picture and chance prints (latent fingerprints) from the crime scene with the Aadhaar database to help identify the accused in a case of murder.
- The UIDAI, which issues the unique Aadhaar number to residents of India, is prohibited by law from sharing any core biometric information with police.
- Delhi Police approached Delhi High Court under Section 33(1) of The Aadhaar Act, according to which a judge of a High Court can order the disclosure of information on identity in certain cases.
- Nothing contained in sub-section (2) or sub-section (5) of section 28 or sub-section (2) of section 29 shall apply in respect of any disclosure of information, including identity information or authentication records, made pursuant to an order of a court not inferior to that of a Judge of a High Court
Sections 28(2) and 28(5) of The Aadhaar Act, 2016 say that
- UIDAI “shall ensure confidentiality of identity information and authentication records of individuals” and that no UIDAI employee can, either during service or later, “reveal any information stored in the Central Identities Data Repository or authentication record to anyone”.
What UIDAI says?
- According to UIDAI, the Delhi Police’s request is contrary to Section 29 of the Act, which prohibits it from sharing core biometric information — fingerprint, iris scan or any such biological attribute — with any agency “for any reason whatsoever”.
- The UIDAI has also said that no Aadhaar data can be shared by any individual or entity with anyone without the consent of the resident or holder of the Aadhaar.
- Section 33, the provision under which Delhi Police has approached the court, allows the disclosure of only identification information including photograph or authentication records, but no core biometric information.
Note: There is also a national security exception — an officer not below the rank of the Secretary to the central government can order disclosure of information including identity information or authentication record in the interest of national security
- UIDAI had told the court that no “1:N” sharing of data was possible, it had to be done on a 1:1 basis only.
- “The Aadhaar technology only permits biometric authentications which are done on a 1:1 basis for which it is necessary to have the Aadhaar number of an individual
- UIDAI has also said it does not collect biometric information — iris scans and fingerprints — based on technologies, standards or procedures suitable for forensic purposes.
- According to UIDAI, for Aadhaar based authentication, it was essential to have both “live biometrics” and the Aadhaar.
- The authority can establish the identity of an individual only through the Aadhaar number — if that is not possible, it is technically not feasible to even provide the photograph of an unknown accused
- The technological architecture of UIDAI or its mandate for Aadhaar based authentication does not allow for any instance of 1:N matching wherein finger prints including latent and chance fingerprints are matched against the other finger prints in the UIDAI database, except for generation of Aadhaar number
Unique Identification Authority of India
- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following the provisions of the Aadhaar Act 2016.
- The UIDAI is mandated to assign a 12-digit unique identification (UID) number (Aadhaar) to all the residents of India.
Source: Indian Express
Q.1) Consider the following statements (2018)
- Aadhaar card can be used as a proof of citizenship or domicile.
- Once issued, Aadhaar number cannot be deactivated or omitted by the Issuing Authority.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) Consider the following statements : (2020)
- Aadhaar metadata cannot be stored for more than three months
- State cannot enter into any contract with private corporations for sharing of Aadhar data
- Aadhaar is mandatory for obtaining insurance products.
- Aadhar is mandatory for getting benefits funded out of the Consolidate fund of India.
Which of the statements give above is/are correct?
- 1 and 4 only
- 2 and 4 only
- 3 only
- 1,2 and 3 only