The Different Ways in Which Aadhaar Infringes on Privacy

A centralised and inter-linked database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom.
What sets Aadhaar apart from other kinds of ID is that our biometric and demographic data are being stored in a centralised database. Credit: Reuters
Privacy has been a key focus in the recent debate on Aadhaar. This is a very welcome development. Privacy is being interpreted in different, equally valid, ways by different sets of people. But the differences in interpretations are not always obvious to those who participate in the discussions. For instance, when computer scientists use the word privacy, they tend to it interpret from a narrow ‘data security’ perspective, whereas the lawyers in the Supreme Court have been highlighting the civil liberties angle to it. This has resulted in groups talking past each other – the solutions that the computer scientists propose, for instance, (like stronger standards for data security, including encryption) are not satisfactory to those who highlight the civil liberties aspects of privacy. Constructive conversation on the issue requires a more elaborate look ate the different dimensions of privacy.
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