I continue to believe Aadhaar disclosure does not raise digital risks: TRAI Chief

TRAI Chief RS Sharma — who had created a stir by making public his Aadhaar number and challenging others to show how it can be misused — says he continues to believe that the disclosure of 12-digit identifier does not raise anyone’s digital vulnerability.

In an interview to PTI, Sharma also said the recent Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar has firmly settled the debate around issues such as privacy.

“I again say that Aadhaar challenge…that challenge still stands. My Aadhaar is still public and nobody has been able to do any harm. I still continue to maintain that Aadhaar disclosure does not increase any of your digital vulnerabilities,” Sharma said.

Sharma, former UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) director general, has been a vocal supporter of the Aadhaar programme, vouching for the safety of the system and dispelling privacy concerns over Aadhaar during his previous and current term as TRAI Chief.

“Aadhaar, during enrolment, processing, generation…does not violate privacy. So, now its critics should understand that the highest court of the land has determined after a thorough deliberation…that Aadhaar as a platform, does not violate privacy,” Sharma said.

Last month, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of ‘Aadhaar’ but limited the scope of the controversial biometric identity project, ruling that it is not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.

Holding there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of an individual, the five-judge Constitution bench, in a 4 to 1 verdict, cleared the use of Aadhaar for welfare schemes.

The court held Aadhaar will remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax (IT) returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).

Source: The Hindu