Shamnad Basheer, a law professor, and legal scholar has just filed a petition against the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the authority that collects and is responsible for Aadhaar database. According to a report by the Press Trust of India, the petition has urged the court to set up an independent committee to investigate, probe, and also audit all the privacy breaches that have happened. In response to the petition, the Delhi High Court ordered UIDAI and the Central government to respond to the concerns regarding the security of the data of users and the privacy of the said data that is stored in the Aadhaar database.
The court agreed to hear the plea which alleges that UIDAI and National Informatics Centre (NIC) failed to “adhere to security practices” that could have prevented these data leaks. As pointed in the report, a two-judge panel that was headed by Justice S. Ravindra Bhat asked UIDAI to submit a written response in response to the plea. The court has given six weeks to UIDAI to reply to the petition and the court has scheduled the next hearing for November 19, 2018. The plea is also asking the court to quantify the financial damages that have occurred due to the data leaks.
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The plea also urged the court to order the government to “either allow” existing Aadhaar holders to either opt out of the system or allow them to delete the “entire existing UIDAI data because of the repeated data breaches.
The petition also referred to the break where the investigative reporter was able to access the entire database by just paying Rs 500. It went on to state that these data leaks happened because of the “negligence and willful recklessness” on part of the UIDAI.