UIDAI Rules Out Possibility Of Aadhaar Data Being Used In Criminal Investigations

UIDAI Rules Out Possibility Of Aadhaar Data Being Used In Criminal InvestigationsAn Aadhaar biometric identity card. (Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) yesterday (22 June) made it clear that the data it collects can only be used to generate and authenticate a user’s Aadhaar data and not for any other purpose. The clarification came following a suggestion made by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Director Ish Kumar that limited access to data be given to law enforcement to identify first time offenders.

The use of or access to Aadhaar biometric data for criminal investigation is not permissible under the Aadhaar Act.
UIDAI’s statement on Friday

The Authority stated that under the Aadhaar Act, limited access to biometric Aadhaar data can be provided under exception circumstances that involve national security but only with the authorisation of an oversight committee that is headed by the Cabinet Secretary. The act also clearly defines biometric data – photograph, iris scan, fingerprints and other biological attributes.

Since its inception the UIDAI has been under constant fire over privacy issues and alleged data leaks prompting them to set up the Virtual ID system where a user would not be required to give their Aadhaar data but only a temporary, randomly generated number to perform Know Your Customer (KYC) actions.