An Aadhaar biometric identity card, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

UIDAI Says It Collects ‘Limited Information’ After Citizens’ Consent 

Aadhaar-issuing body today said it collects “limited” information from citizens for the purpose of enrolment, and only after receiving consent.

The Chief Executive Officer Unique Identification Authority of India, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, today appeared before the Supreme Court to make a presentation on the technical and security aspects of Aadhaar. The UIDAI does not get any information on transactions done after the authentication process is over, he informed the apex court, countering arguments on violation of privacy.

By providing a nationally accepted identification to every citizen, the 12-digit biometric identification has made delivery of subsidies more efficient as ghost identities have been eliminated, Pandey said.

In January, a Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court began hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar Act and use of Aadhaar across government and private services. The hearing is now in its 21st day.

Yesterday, Attorney General of India KK Venugopal argued that the programme will ensure the right to a dignified existence for India’s citizens and sought the apex court’s permission to allow Pandey to answer questions related to technical and security aspects of Aadhaar.

For those who do not have  complete biometrics, the UIDAI provides alternate means of authentication such as mobile OTP, the CEO said before the Supreme Court bench. It is also planning to introduce facial recognition technology from July, he added.

The presentation will continue tomorrow in front of the five-judge bench.