The Supreme Court says that for now, Aadhaar is not mandatory for banking & phone for citizens. It’s not only banking & phone where Aadhaar is not mandate; but for a range of services that includes bank accounts, mobile phones and passport.
Aadhaar Not Mandatory for Banking & Phone, Why?
In 2009, India launched Aadhaar – the world’s biggest biometric database. The intention of launching Aadhar is to smoothen up the social welfare payments; and, to reduce the wastage of money in public spending.
Henceforth, the Modi government is eager to mandate the use of Aadhaar for almost everything. Starting from income tax filing to the registration of mobile phone numbers, for application of Passport. Even, for booking the railway tickets.
However, the Supreme Court says Aadhaar not mandatory till it decides on whether linking of Aadhaar is a violation of the right to privacy or not. Also, if the 12-digit unique number is at all necessary to be linked to other services.
A group of petitioners (Campaigners and technology experts) has concern the voice about the privacy and safety of data, the susceptibility of biometrics to failure, and the misuse of data for profiling or increased surveillance. Also, there’s a push from this group to the Supreme Court to declare the government’s urge for Aadhaar disclosure as a violation of the right to privacy.
However, the Supreme Court in Aug 2017, said that privacy is a fundamental right. But, also made it clear that the decision on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar would be taken separately. Privacy is a fundamental right, but subject to reasonable restrictions.
What’s the Deadline of Linking Aadhaar now?
Earlier the deadline was March 31, 2018, for linking bank accounts and mobile phones to Aadhaar. Now, the deadline is indefinite till the top court decides on whether the Aadhaar Act is illegal.
Since the critics have concern about continuous data breaches; and, say the ID card links sufficient data to create a complete profile of a person’s spending habits, their friends, the property they own and a lot of other information. Hence, the top count says Aadhaar not mandatory, till it decides on whether linking of Aadhaar is a violation of the right to privacy or not.
Now, for what Aadhaar is Mandatory?
As of now, Aadhaar is mandatory only for accessing the government’s social welfare, pension, employment schemes and subsidies. And, Aadhaar not mandatory for banking & phone, but can make your Life Easier.
How can Aadhaar make your Life Easier?
To get the actual benefits of your Aadhaar, the most important step is to link your mobile number with the Aadhaar database. However, it is not mandatory to link your number, but, it is important. This will let you have an easier life. By linking your mobile number to the Aadhaar database, you get hassle-free access to various online services. Such as correction in your Aadhaar details, generation of a Virtual Aadhaar ID, and downloading e-Aadhaar. These services are one-time password (OTP) enabled, therefore, linking of mobile number is important.
- E-verification of Income Tax Return:
Though there are various ways to verify the Income Tax Return (ITR), but e-verification ITR using your Aadhaar number online is a convenient method.
- Simplified e-KYC:
Know-your-customer (KYC) compliance is mandatory in almost every financial institution. e-KYC that is KYC on the basis of Aadhaar online saves your effort of uploading and verifying scanned copies of your documents to complete the process. For example, if you invest in mutual funds online, Aadhaar-based KYC process is much easier if you compare the same to the regular KYC method.
Paperless EPF claims:
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has now enabled the system in a way so that the case can get settle in 5 days. For this, you need to link your Universal Account Number (UAN) with your Aadhaar number. With UAN & Aadhaar number, now you can withdraw your PF fully or partly without the signature of your employer. And, for this, you do not have to send any hard copies of your document & PF form to the EPFO office. That saves a lot of time & hassle.
Yes, that’s true that our privacy is at stake by making Aadhaar mandate everywhere till we develop a 200% full proof security measures. Aadhaar linkage to everything may give access to your personal & financial details along with a lot of other information such as property details, investment details as well as your contact list too. These data may lead to fraud activities to an extreme level as compared to the current situation. At present, when Aadhaar is not linked to anything or before this period of Aadhaar linkage, many of us have received frauds bank calls resulting into an unauthorized withdrawal of money.
Hence, it’s a very wise decision by the Supreme Court to make Aadhaar not mandatory for banking & phone, and for many other services till the privacy is completely safe & secure.