Minister of information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad told Parliament that the government has no proposal for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals. “There is no such proposal with the government for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals,” Prasad said. The minister was asked whether the government proposes to enact a law for linking Aadhaar with social media accounts of individuals.
The minister also said that as a matter of policy and by design, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) precludes itself from aggregating information arising from the use of Aadhaar, tracking and profiling individuals. “…the system by intent is blind to the purpose for which Aadhaar may be used at the front end by the resident. Also, the core biometrics is encrypted at the time of enrolment/updation. It is never kept unencrypted and is never shared,” he added.
However, Facebook and WhatsApp had strongly objected to Aadhaar linking, saying it would affect the privacy of its users. It said a nine-judge bench of the SC had upheld privacy as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the constitution.
The UIDAI has clearly stated the government will have to enact a new law to link Aadhaar to social media accounts of individuals. The reason, according to UIDAI, is that the current legislation only enables the use of Aadhaar for schemes and subsidies funded under the Consolidated Fund of India. For anything outside the purview of this fund, a new law has to be put in place. The SC will now hear the matter in January after the Centre formulates new guidelines on intermediaries.