In a ruling on Tuesday, the Supreme Court has ordered indefinite extension in the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, and other services.
The deadline for linking Aadhaar with services was earlier set on March 31 this year. With this order, the current deadline has been nullified and extended for an indefinite period. The apex court said that
“Biometric ID is mandatory for accessing social welfare schemes and subsidies but until it (Supreme Court) does not decide if the government’s demand to link Aadhaar with various private and public sector services is a violation of right to privacy or not, Aadhaar need not be linked to other services.,” said the apex court.
Aadhaar is a unique identification provided in form of a twelve-digit number which is based on the biometric and demographic data of a person. It was launched in 2009 and has now become world’s largest biometric database.
The NDA government, led by prime minister Narendra Modi, ordered linking of Aadhaar with services like PAN card, mobile numbers and bank accounts among several others. Since then, several technology experts are of the opinion that this disclosure of the Aadhaar data poses a threat to the privacy of an individual.
There have been several cases of Aadhaar data breach. The data disclosed with linking the Aadhaar to every service has exhibited a person’s full profile comprising of spending habits, friends, and other private information, in public domain.
Some petitioners moved the Supreme Court asking to declare government’s demands pertaining to linking Aadhar as a violation of right to privacy.