The Aadhaar card numbers of over 20,000 individuals were published on a website of Punjab government, becoming the latest among a series of privacy breaches by government organisations in relation to Aadhaar card.
Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) had earlier invited applications for low-cost housing from the economically weaker sections in Ludhiana and Jagraon under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) programme. Following this, the names of the applicants, their Aadhaar card numbers and that of their fathers’ were then put up on their website. The GLADA officials, however, seemed unsure as to how these details ended up online. Although the links were removed from the website by Monday evening, the list remained accessible to anyone who had the direct link on Tuesday as well.
The Aadhaar card number is a twelve digit identity number linked to a person’s biometric details that have become increasingly mandatory for citizens to avail any kind of government service. As per Section 29 (4) of the Aadhaar Act, no Aadhaar number or core biometric information can be published, displayed or posted publicly, except for specified purposes and violation of the same is punishable by up to three years of imprisonment.
The Supreme Court is currently determining whether the Aadhaar program is a violation of an individual’s right to privacy.
Image Source: Hindustan Times