india
By Suman Priya Mendonca | 02:43 PM December 01, 2016
In Modi's digital India, your Aadhaar card makes you less safe

Highlights

  • Soon, Aadhaar card will be required for all transactions, say sources
  • But how safe is Aadhaar-based transactions?
  • But everyone needs to have access to an android phone to be able to do transactions
  • This too looks like another way to tighten the string around common people’s neck

Cashless society, digitally shining, demonetising, corruption-free India and transparency are the words making the rounds in India. But this promise comes with a greater risk to your account numbers and financial transactions.

 

In India, the politicians bringing the common citizens under transparency rules still do not come under the RTI themselves. 

 

So, are all these plans only going to affect ordinary people and leave out the big fish from its purview?

 

At such a time, the news that the Aadhaar card will be required for all transactions has come as a shocker. Even though theoretically it seems like a perfect way to bring in transparency, there are many issues with this system that is going to affect the day-to-day life of us all.

 

While all the talk is of how the Aadhaar cards will be used for all transactions, there is no talk on how secure our personal details will be. Remember, all details - including PAN card numbers and account details - are attached to the Unique Identity Number.

 

Currently, with even military secrets like the Scorpene deal being leaked, the public is quite concerned about how the government plans on maintaining secrecy about their personal details. According to a statistics, from 2010 to 2015 about 1,500 websites have been hacked.

  

Speaking to Economic Times, Ajay Pandey, director general of the UIDAI said that “the Aadhaar-enabled transactions are card-less and pin-less. This would enable Android phones users to digitally transact using their Aadhaar number and fingerprint/iris authentication.”

 

This does not seem like a good idea because there are lakhs of people who have basic mobile sets which do not allow any such fancy features. Many of them just know to dial a few numbers and receive calls. 

 

Are they not considered as members of the 'Indian population' or will it be considered their fault for not knowing to operate or afford a fancy android phone?

 

Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO told the Economic Times that “the process of applying Aadhaar number for all transactions would require a multi-pronged strategy, including talking to mobile manufacturers, merchants and banks, and the government has already started working in different directions to help achieve this.”

 

It appears like everything has been decided after talks with private companies. If everything from a pin to setting up large plants has to be transparent and online, what kind of security is the government giving the people, after putting everything in the hands of private companies?

 

And let's not forget, the same BJP party in power now was dead against implementing the Aadhaar cards just two years ago when it was not in power.

 

Already, taglines like 'common people will have to face trouble for the greater good' are doing the rounds about demonetisation. 

 

In such a scenario, it feels like those at the top pushing for Aadhaar-card-only transactions do not consider the safety and secrecy of our account details as a big issue.

 

So if you have an Aadhaar Card and are making any transactions, your details are clearly not safe. 

 

On the other hand, if you have Aadhaar card but use a basic mobile handset perhaps you are safe, but only because you cannot make any transactions!

 

Welcome to the cashless future.  

 

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