'Aadhaar data leak can influence election results', says Supreme Court

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Amid the controversy over alleged Facebook data leak by Cambridge Analytica, the Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that Aadhaar data leak is a serious issue and it has the potential to influence elections.

Supreme court

"The real apprehension is the data available can influence the electoral outcome of a country," said Justice DY Chandrachud, who is part of the five-bench judge hearing the matter.

Asking what were the "nature of the safeguards" in absence of a data protection law, Justice Chandrachud said, "We can't have a blinkered view of reality, because we are going to lay down a law which will affect the future".

Arguing for the UIDAI, counsel Rakesh Diwedi submitted "Please remove the fear and phobia created by petitioners of sharing of data once the requesting entity seeks authentication. Collection of data under Aadhaar is not an atomic bomb. Authentication is an algorithm which is one to one and there is no question of sharing of information with anyone."

He said the moment the data collected by requesting entities for authentication is submitted, it is encrypted and there is no possibility of leakage.

Last week, the court had expressed concerns about the possible misuse of data of 1.3 billion Indians. It drew a sharp response from the Aadhaar authority UIDAI, who said: "Aadhaar data is not an atom bomb".

The Supreme Court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme.

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