UIDAI declines privacy activist request for Aadhaar data protection information

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the authority for Aadhaar, have declined Indian privacy activist Vivek Velankar’s request to reveal the names of companies responsible for storing sensitive data as well as the manufacturers of the servers over ‘security reasons’, according to a report by The Times of India.

To address data privacy concerns regarding the compulsory Aadhaar registration, Velankar had filed an RTI application asking for the names of the companies storing Aadhaar data, name of the country where the data is stored and the names of the server manufacturers.

“I had sought the information regarding UIDAI under RTI,” Velankar said. “However, the identification authority has denied the information citing Section 8 (1) (a) of the RTI Act, which says that if the information is provided, the country’s security will be endangered.”

Velankar said that such basic information should be publically available to assure people that the stored information has not been given to a foreign company, is stored within the country, and that the servers housing the information are not manufactured in China.

UIDAI officials responded by stating that the information is too sensitive and cannot be shared outside the authority, unless it is ordered by the government.

The authority also said that UIDAI’s central identities data repository facilities, information, assets, logistics, infrastructure and dependencies installed at the authority’s locations are protected by the Information Technology Act, 2000.

In early August, theUnique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told India’s Supreme Court that it is nearly impossible to use Aadhaar to track citizens.

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