India keeps lid on amount of data collected for voting
Voters in India wanting biometric data privacy are getting some cover.
Government officials have issued statements addressing concerns of some people that they have to give up data or be disenfranchised.
In separate incidents, the central government is making sure voters and voting officials at all levels know the rules for collecting data.
In one instance, there was confusion about the relationship between election ID accounts and Aadhaar accounts. According to Indian news publisher Outlook, election commissioners were concerned that some voters might feel they have to submit their Aadhaar number to cast a ballot.
India’s Law Ministry would like to get national digital ID numbers in order to merge the two databases but doing so is currently voluntary. The government has considered making that a demand. But people cannot legally be turned away at the polls for refusing to give their government-services access account number.
The Election Commission is reacting to more-unnerving reports, too. Private organizations allegedly are performing house-to-house surveys telling residents they have to hand over personal information on the spot in order to vote in the next elections.
According to the New Indian Express, commissioners have said collecting unnecessary or unrelated biometric or biographical data while performing ID authentication is illegal.
India still is well along in its determination to secure and improve national voting with physical and digital IDs. The United States, for instance, cannot seem to get its engine started on the matter and state voting systems are moving in dramatically different directions.