After Aadhaar data leakage, Centre issues new guidelines to protect data

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The government on Thursday issued new guidelines to protect your Aadhaar details in order to protect your identity and also several other information on cards.

After Aadhaar data leakage, Centre issues new guidelines to protect data

A set of 27 dos and don'ts has been circulated on data handling. The document instructs government departments not to publish any personal data including Aadhaar in public domain/websites etc. It also said that there will be legal consequences if there is a data breach and warned the government departments to check future leaks. Under the Aadhaar Act, publishing of Aadhaar numbers of beneficiaries is illegal.

The move to protect personal data comes after reports of 130 million Aadhaar cardholders data was leaked from four government websiteswhich also included cricketer MS Dhoni's personal Aadhaar details. Whether these incidents could have been avoided if the guidelines had been issued earlier is debatable. But the issuance of these guidelines at the earliest would have at least given the impression that the government does care about privacy and identity protection.

In a recent data privacy incident, an Aadhaar centre had tweeted a picture of Dhoni authenticating his fingerprints along with a screenshot of Dhoni's Aadhaar page, making his details public. The UIDAI took action after Dhoni's wife complained to IT minister on Twitter about the incident.

India doesn't have any data privacy laws unlike many advanced nations lik the US, Canada, and the UK.

Last month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley played down privacy and security concerns of making Aadhaar mandatory for citizens, saying all technology can be hacked into and that should not prevent the use of the technology.

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