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Government of India proposes Aadhaar authentication for businesses

Government of India proposes Aadhaar authentication for businesses

The Government of India has recently released a draft notification proposing “voluntary” use of Aadhaar one-time passcode (OTP) or biometric authentication for non-government entities.

The proposed amendment to the 2020 Aadhaar Authentication for Good Governance Rules, would enable better access to services and promote ease of living for residents, the government says.

Under the existing 2020 Aadhaar Authentication Rules, government departments can undertake a one-time passcode or biometric authentication to use digital platforms for governance, prevent the dissipation of social welfare benefits, enable innovation and spread knowledge.

The draft notification has proposed that if a government department is satisfied that an application under the draft rule fulfills the purposes mentioned earlier, it can refer the request to use Aadhaar numbers to the government, which would place it in front of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

However, it is still being determined what kinds of private-sector applications Aadhaar authentication will be allowed for under this amendment. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has stated that the government will keep comments in response to the draft notification private. It is inviting comments through the MyGov portal until May 5, 2023.

Aadhaar authentication is already allowed for items including obtaining subsidies, carrying out KYC authentication for opening bank accounts, registering a mobile or internet connection, and deduplicating voter registrations. With the proposed amendment, the government of India says more people may benefit from the Aadhaar authentication services.

The mandatory use of Aadhaar to obtain private-sector services was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2018, and even its requirement for public benefits is controversial.

Earlier this month, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reported that 2.26 billion Aadhaar authentications had taken place, bringing the total number of Aadhaar authentication transactions to 92.55 billion.

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