Aad­haar data leak can in­flu­ence elec­tion out­come, says top court

Khaleej Times - - INDIA -

new delhi — A leak of Aad­haar data can in­flu­ence elec­tion re­sults, the Supreme Court said on Tues­day.

The ob­ser­va­tion came af­ter the Unique Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Au­thor­ity of In­dia (UIDAI) told the apex court that the col­lec­tion of bio­met­ric and de­mo­graphic in­for­ma­tion un­der Aad­haar was not an atomic bomb as it sought to dis­miss the hyper pho­bia the unique iden­tity card’s crit­ics have cre­ated around it.

Jus­tice Chan­drachud said: “The ap­pre­hen­sion of the shar­ing of data is not symp­to­matic but real. The data avail­able can be used to in­flu­ence elec­tions. We have seen this in past ex­pe­ri­ence. Whether democ­racy can sur­vive where data is used to in­flu­ence the elec­toral out­come...” Hav­ing ad­verted to the

The ap­pre­hen­sion of the shar­ing of data is not symp­to­matic but real Jus­tice Chan­drachud

ap­pre­hen­sions, Jus­tice Chan­drachud asked se­nior coun­sel Rakesh Dwivedi, who was ap­pear­ing for the UIDAI: “You must think of what are the na­ture of safe­guards that can be in­tro­duced.”

“We can’t have a blink­ered view of re­al­ity” be­cause of your lim­i­ta­tions, Jus­tice Chan­drachud said, since “we are go­ing to lay down a law that will af­fect fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

“How the re­quest­ing en­ti­ties will use the data is a mat­ter of con­cern,” said Jus­tice Chan­drachud point­ing out to data be­ing used for elec­tion, an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to the leak of data of a so­cial me­dia site dur­ing the US Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Ear­lier, Dwivedi told the five­judge con­sti­tu­tion bench headed by Chief Jus­tice Di­pak Misra: “Col­lec­tion of in­for­ma­tion un­der Aad­haar is not an atomic bomb. Please re­move the fear and pho­bia cre­ated by the pe­ti­tion­ers (op­pos­ing it). There is no ques­tion of leak­ing or shar­ing of in­for­ma­tion.” —

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