Aadhaar holder can only lock biometrics, not opt out: UIDAI

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The UIDAI has said that a user can block their biometrics instead when asked about opting out of Aadhaar. The UIDAI’s response came in a query filed through the Right to Information (RTI) by Mahedihasan Aliarajak Patel, a Gujarat resident.

In an RTI query, he asked last month, giving reference to the Apex Court judgement in this regard, that how can he exit from the Aadhaar scheme and sought detail process for the same.

On Sept 26, 2018, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had ruled that people who have enrolled before the Act, two years ago, can opt out of Aadhaar. Those who specifically refuse to give consent would be able to exit and children enrolled under parent consent shall be given the right to exit after attaining the age of maturity.

Prasanna S, a Delhi based advocate who assisted the petitioner in the Aadhaar case, told that the UIDAI’s response was not compliant with the Supreme Court’s judgement on Aadhaar. He said, “The court order specifically directed that persons enrolled before the coming into force of the Act need to be given an option to exit Aadhaar. Not merely lock their biometrics.”

The court in its judgement also held that “on attaining the age of majority, such children who are enrolled under Aadhaar with the consent of their parents shall be given the right to exit from Aadhaar, if they so choose.” When asked whether there was a need to amend the Aadhaar Act to provide an opt out option, Prasanna said, “No. The SC directions are sufficient.”

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