Government website leaks Aadhaar information
Yet another website has published the Aadhaar numbers and biographic details of Indian citizens; this time the official website for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electricity access project, Bloomberg reports.
The website published the name, Aadhaar number, biographical details, village of residence, and photograph of “several” residents, Bloomberg says, before blocking access to the portal. Aadhaar numbers, demographic details, and banking information for more than 130,000 people was published by the state of Andhra Pradesh in April, and several other government websites, including that of the Central Bureau of Investigation, have published Aadhaar numbers together with personal data.
Although Aadhaar numbers are not secret, and are used to connect biometric data with individuals, the frequent leakage of personal information may bolster the case of petitions to India’s Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on the constitutional validity of the program as a whole, and several of its different facets, in the coming months.
The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has consistently maintained that no breach of its central database has occurred, and all biometric data is secure.
“There is a need for India to come out of the ostrich approach” internet law expert Pavan Duggal told Bloomerg. “Rather than adopting the philosophy of shooting the messenger or pushing the problems under the carpet, it is imperative to start dealing with the challenges facing Aadhaar before making it mandatory.”