New Delhi: There has been no breach of Aadhaar data and a majority of the country’s people trust the scheme as it is completely safe, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Terming Aadhaar a game changer, Prasad said in Lok Sabha that as of now 120 crore people have the Aadhaar cards and 57 crore bank accounts were linked with it, which resulted in saving Rs 57,000 crore which otherwise would have been pocketed by some unscrupulous elements.
The minister said Unique Identification Authority of India has a well-designed, multi-layered robust system in place and the same is being constantly upgraded to maintain the highest level of data security and integrity.
“The UIDAI has adequate legal, organisational and technological measures in place for the security of the data stored with UIDAI,” he said during the Question Hour. Prasad said data protection measures have also been mandated for the requesting entities and eco-system partners.
“Government is fully alive to the need to maintain highest level of data security, privacy and is deploying the necessary technology and infrastructure,” he said. Referring to a media report which claimed that one can get the Aaadhar details of anyone by paying nominal fees, Prasad said an FIR has been registered but no journalist has been named.
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“We respect press freedom. The journalist concerned should cooperate with the investigation,” he said. “Aadhaar data is completely safe. Aadhaar is a game changer. Majority of the people are trusting Aadhaar,” he said. The minister said if any company is found to be misusing Aadhaar data, it could be prosecuted and persons concerned could be jailed for three to seven years besides imposition of fine.
“This is incorporated in a clause of the Aadhaar Act,” he said. Prasad, however, said no one will be denied government benefits due to absence of Aadhaar as other options are also available. He said Aadhaar is being appreciated by international organisations like the World Bank and the IMF.
When an MP referred to the Aadhaar case hearing in the Supreme Court, Prasad said the court case should not be discussed in the Lok Sabha as “this House is sovereign”.