Aadhaar Bill Re-introduced In The Parliament

Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019, has been re-introduced in the parliament by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019:

  • The proposed amendments to Aadhaar Act 2016 will:
  • Provide for voluntary use of Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form by authentication or offline verification with the consent of Aadhaar number holder.
  • It will also pave the way for use of alternate virtual identity number to keep hidden the actual Aadhaar number of the person.
  • It seeks to allow entities to perform authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security defined by the UIDAI.
  • The amendment will also prevent denial of services for refusing to, or being unable to, undergo authentication.
  • Give a child an option to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age.
  • Impose stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy. A civil penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on violation of provisions, and additional fine of up to Rs 10 lakh per day in case of regular non-compliance.
  • Unauthorised use of identity information by a requesting entity would be punishable with imprisonment of up to three years with a fine that may extend to Rs 10,000 or in case of a company with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.
  • Punishment for unauthorised access to the Central Identities Data Repository as well as data tampering is proposed to be extended to 10 years each from the current three years.
  • The proposed Bill will replace the ordinance already in place issued in March 2019.

Opposition to the Amendment bill:

Various oppositions have been raised to the provisions of the amendment act, which include:

  • The bill allows private companies to access data without laying safeguards for data protection as mandated by Supreme Court thus infringing the Right to Privacy of citizens.
  • The Data Protection Bill should be passed either simultaneously with the Bill or before the amendment bill is passed.
  • The amendment contravenes the Supreme Court’s judgement that restricted the use of Aadhaar for only such things which have the colour of a subsidy and which are paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India. The amendment allows Aadhaar to be used for verification, phone connections etc.

Source : The Hindu, 24th June 2019