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Not Just Jharkhand, More Govt Departments Leak Aadhaar Data: Report

The leak is in violation of existing laws prescribed under the Aadhaar Act.

25/04/2017 11:21 AM IST | Updated 25/04/2017 1:25 PM IST
Amit Dave / Reuters

It appears that it's not just the Jharkhand government that has accidentally leaked personal data of Aadhaar beneficiaries in strict violation of existing laws. Several other government departments including one under the Central government have also published Aadhaar numbers related to their schemes, Mint reported.

The departments that have leaked Aadhaar numbers include the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Kerala's pension department and Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security.

Under the Aadhaar Act, publishing of Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries is illegal. Last week, details of over one millions Aadhaar pensioners were published on a government website run by the Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the chief executive of UADAI, the authority behind Aadhaar, recently told PTI the agency has approached the Jharkhand government and asked them to identify staffers behind the leak.

In another recent data privacy incident, an Aadhaar centre had tweeted a picture of Dhoni authenticating his fingerprints along with a screenshot of Dhoni's Aadhaar page, making his details public. The UIDAI took action after Dhoni's wife complained to IT minister on Twitter about the incident.

The Central government has repeatedly said there are enough safeguards to protect privacy in the Aadhaar act but a string of recent security incidents -- by government itself -- suggests that personal data of Aadhaar may be far from secure. India doesn't have any data privacy laws unlike many advanced nations lik the US, Canada, and the UK.

Last month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley played down privacy and security concerns of making Aadhaar mandatory for citizens, saying all technology can be hacked into and that should not prevent the use of the technology.

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