Nandan Nilekani, one of the chief architects of Aadhaar, has praised the BJP-led government’s version of Aadhaar Bill. According to him, the bill is stronger in terms of privacy as compared to the one prepared by the UPA.
“In fact, this (the Bill on privacy) is stronger than the original Bill. The Bill has very robust privacy protection beyond what any other legislation has ever provided in India. It is as good as it gets,” Nilekani said.
Nandan Nilekani businessinsider
Under the new Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, the biometric data captured will be used only for Aadhaar enrolment and verification. It will not be used for any other purpose nor shared with anyone.
Such information will not be published or displayed publicly. Further, the authority cannot reveal the biometric information to any institution requesting authentication for a specific purpose.
The only exception can be national security. An individual’s information may be revealed in the interest of national security if a joint secretary in the Central government issues such a direction. And even such an exception will be valid only for six months.
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According to Nilekani:
“World over – every database is open for national security. In any country, national security concerns provides for authorities to access any system. The question is whether anyone will misuse it. The Aadhaar Bill has enough safeguards, and its privacy constraints are stronger than the previous Bill. It is a big leap forward in the quality of legislation India has seen.”
While this may spark controversy on privacy being compromised in the name of national security, the UPA government’s National Identification Authority of India Bill of 2010 too provided for such an exception in the interest of national security. The only difference is that the joint secretary had to take the approval of the Minister-in-charge.