According to official records, about 80 lakh people in undivided AP did not give their consent to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for sharing of their personal information with any third party including the central and the state governments. Thus, in the absence of consent, the UIDAI is duty-bound to keep secret the personal data of these citizens. The issue cropped up when the AP government wanted to access the personal information of Aadhaar card holders to verify the credentials of the beneficiaries of various welfare schemes.
Officials point out that about 40 lakh people in Telangana too, had refused permission to UIDAI to share with others their personal data including fingerprints. The state government cannot validate Aadhaar cards without accessing the personal data of individuals.
The application form for Aadhaar contains a column wherein an individual can say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to UIDAI sharing of his/her personal information with others. About 80 lakh people or 10% of the applicants for Aadhaar in undivided AP had refused consent. AP government plans to seed the Aadhaar data with as many as 21 departments while Telangana is planning to seed Aadhaar with the civil supplies department.
Non-consent on data sharing has become an impediment for the government to weed out bogus beneficiaries. Also, the government cannot authenticate the identity of the applicants for various schemes as the UIDAI is barred by law from sharing information on fingerprints and iris reading.
According to sources, officials involved in feeding the data in the initial phase of enrolment for Aadhaar simply marked “no” in the consent column without the knowledge of the applicants.
The UIDAI has now come up with software called ‘Light Client’, which enables people to make changes in the consent column. “The facility is available at Mee Seva and all Aadhaar enrolment centres. Those who want to make changes in the consent column, should visit these centres and give their fingerprints,” said UIDAI deputy director general MVS Rami Reddy.