3-year prison term for providing false biometrics under new Aadhaar penalties
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has increased the penalties for hacking, sharing, or using Aadhaar data without authorization, from Rs 10,000 (roughly US$132) to Rs 10 million (roughly $132,300), The Hindustan Times reports.
The legislation first made it into law in 2019 but was only enforced by UIDAI in November 2021.
It is being now updated following more reported cases of unauthorized access or violation of the Aadhaar biometrics system.
In addition to increasing the value of the enforceable fines, the new legislation also introduces a penalty of Rs 10,000 and imprisonment for three years for impersonating or providing false demographic or biometric information (the Aadhaar system contains citizens’ finger and iris biometrics data).
According to The Hindustan Times, individuals may be able to appeal against decisions of Adjudicating Officers through the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.
UIDAI has been particularly active since the beginning of the year, announcing in January it was looking at ‘partial authentication’ within its biometric system.
More recently, India’s Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju told parliamentarians the Aadhaar biometric ID connection with voter ID will not witness interference by government authorities or any third parties.
No biometrics for voting
A government legislator has told the Lok Sabha that biometric authentication for voters is not currently under consideration, The Indian Express reports.
Asked if the government has considered the possibility of disenfranchisement from biometric voter authentication, Rijiju replied that the government is considering “no such proposal.”
The bill recently passed to link the voters registry with Aadhaar is for the purpose of biometric deduplication. Rijiju also said during the session that research had not been conducted into the effect this would have on voter fraud.