Aadhaar info: Alphons Kannanthanam stands by his comments

Frederick Owens
March 26, 2018

"We have given authorisation to govt agencies to access Aadhaar information", the Union Minister said today.

Dispelling doubts on leakage, UIDAI CEO Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey said all biometrics data are encrypted with 2048 bit encryption and it will require more than the age of universe to break the one encrypted key.

The Minister came down heavily against the people behind Cambridge Analytica, a British political consulting firm which combines data mining, data brokerage, and data analysis with strategic communication for the electoral process, who illegally obtained Facebook data to target U.S. voters creating a political storm across the world.

On Friday, speaking at the #Future digital summit held in Kochi, Alphons had sparked a row when he targeted those who criticised Aadhaar, by pointing out exhaustive documentation and stringent screening methods followed during the United States visa application process. We have absolutely no problem giving our fingerprints and getting body naked before the white man at all. But when the government of India, which is your government, asks you your name and your address, nothing more, there's a massive revolution in the country saying it's an intrusion into the privacy of the individual.

Two days after he was quoted as saying "we have no problems in putting our fingerprints and whole body naked in front of a white man", junior Union tourism and IT minister Alphons Kannanthanam continued to be in the eye of a storm as he clarified his statement while resolutely defending the virtues of Aadhaar.

He said, "What is given in Aadhaar are just name and address".

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The minister also refuted allegations that data from the official app of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being shared without the users' consent.

"You think Prime Minister is going to give your data to a private company!"

In a major decision, the Supreme Court this month extended the deadline to link Unique Identification number indefinitely. "The Centre has protected the data and this (hacking) is impossible because we are using the latest technology and upgrading it everyday", according to The Hindu.

His remarks comes in the backdrop of a couple of purported hacks conducted by private security researchers, who have claimed to gain access to data of users enrolled in the Aadhaar database.

As a result of this order, Aadhaar is not mandatory for various other services.

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