Govt’s Bill to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar for SIMs, bank accounts
Government Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that will allow individuals to offer voluntarily biometric ID Aadhaar as a means of identity verification for obtaining services like opening a bank account and getting a mobile phone connection.
The bill, which seeks to amend three separate laws governing Aadhaar, telecom sector, and banking regulation,also gives a minor an option to opt out of the 12-digit identity scheme on attaining the age of 18 years.
It also provides for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018, moved by Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Lok Sabha, bans storing of core biometric information as well as Aadhaar number by service providers in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication.
It also makes it clear that anyone not offering Aadhaar cannot be denied any service, be it a bank account or a SIM card.
The bill seeks to amend the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002.
The legislation proposes telecom service providers, apart from using Aadhaar for authentication, can also leverage offline verification, use of passport, or any other officially valid document or modes of identification as notified by the central Government.
The amendments, according to the objects and reasons for the Bill, will “provide for 12-digit Aadhaar number and its alternate numbers to be generated” in a manner so as to conceal the actual Aadhaar number.
It would also “permit the entities performing authentication only when they are compliant with the standards of privacy and security,” it said. The Bill also seeks to lay down the procedure for offline verification of an Aadhaar number holder, and confers enhanced regulator-like power on Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to give directions as it may consider necessary to any entity in the Aadhaar ecosystem.
It says that every requesting entity to whom an authentication request is made, will inform the Aadhaar number holder of alternate and viable means of identification and shall not deny any service to them for refusing to, or being unable to undergo authentication.
Mandatory authentication of an Aadhaar holder for the provision of any service will take place if such authentication is required by a law made by Parliament…….Read More>>