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Unique problems


The Supreme Court order on Aadhar, or UID for all citizens, was both a victory and loss for the central government. While the order allowed Aadhar to be linked to government welfare schemes and PAN card, it said that this cannot be done in the case of bank accounts, and mobile numbers. More crucially, the government cannot share Aadhar data with third parties, especially private ones, nor can the latter collect such data to provide their various services. For example, before the apex court order, private telecom players collected the data to link Aadhar to SIM cards. However, certain powerful private lobbies are piqued by this observation. They are adamant about collecting the data, and are pressurising the central government to find a way out. It is reliably learnt that the law ministry and home ministry have begun work on a new ordinance to allow third parties to collect the data. The government knows that it will be difficult to push through in Parliament, given the row on privacy issues and the earlier SC order that declared privacy a fundamental right. The ordinance will possibly come next year after the winter session of Parliament. A little birdie also told gfiles that a leading industrialist warned the powers-that-be that if they don’t issue the ordinance, they will have to face the consequences in the 2019 national elections.

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