On a day the government decided to make Aadhaar mandatory for a death certificate, Member of Parliament and Biju Janata Dal leader Tathagata Satpathy argued that citizens should be paid for their personal data.
“If you want to give my data to a telecom or oil company, then pay for it. Even if a political party wants to use my data, I’m willing to sell it. I have no problem,” he says.
And how much is this data worth? The Parliamentarian from Dhenkanal constituency in Odisha says at least Rs 5 lakh. And if not that, then Rs 12,000 per month as Universal Basic Income. “A lot of people in my constituency felt cheated that they were promised Rs 15 lakh by the Prime Minister in 2014. At least give us one third or Rs 5 lakhs.”
The other option suggested is that the UIDAI makes an upfront payment to a citizen on enrollment in Aadhaar and then keeps paying whenever the data is used in any way.
While Satpathy is largely making a political point, he said his argument is directed at no particular party. Describing the use of Aadhaar for death certification as “complete madness”, he says “whether it was the Congress earlier or the BJP now, it is evil intent that wants to collate the data of every single citizen”.
Satpathy first made the point of paying citizens for their data usage in an article in the Times of India.