Aadhaar – whether you subscribe to its utility or not, you can neither wish it away nor ignore it. Since its introduction, the very concept and execution of Aadhaar has been mired in legal battles and controversies. Large sections of the society have come out and spoken about the dangers that such a mass collection of highly sensitive and personal data without proper security measures, access policies and accountability, could lead to.
Over the last few months, various service providers, which include banks, telecom service providers, schools, and even some hospitals have taken every measure to link the 12-digit unique identity number to their services. From getting a SIM card to filing taxes to even getting your pension, Aadhaar details were mandatory, and applicants had no choice but to comply.
All this, while the very point of the issue was being heard by the Supreme Court.
Until the Apex Court’s direction, which you can read about here, there was no clarity on what services mandatorily needed to be linked and what did not. Many citizens ended up linking their Aadhaar to the service providers for lack of choice – it was that, or you could not access the services. This situation, however, can be remedied.
There is now new information emerging that suggests that you may be able to de-link your Aadhaar details from these service providers.
The Compendium of Regulations of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) states on page 11 under points 5:
“The Aadhaar number holder may, at any time, revoke consent given to a KUA for storing his e-KYC data or for sharing it with third parties, and upon such revocation, the KUA shall delete the e-KYC data and cease any further sharing.”
Furthermore, point 6 makes it abundantly clear that the entities which have received your information will also have to follow the same norms and de-link your number.
To check the veracity of this, we contacted a telecom service provider’s customer care hotline, and the executive of the service provider denied having any knowledge about this compendium. The executive kept insisting that there was no way in which a customer could de-link Aadhaar details once submitted. It appears that while the systems have been designed to link a user’s Aadhaar details, there is no system yet in place to de-link the same at a later date.
While there is a provision on paper, it might be an uphill battle to de-link one’s Aadhaar details from various service providers.
Since the section is fairly clear, not doing so violates the UIDAI’s rules, and should not be permitted. This is an issue that needs urgent and widespread awareness.
Do write to us if you or anyone you know has managed to de-link the details.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
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