AADHAR vs Privacy debate

Government has made AADHAR mandatory for filing ITRs i.e. AADHAR and PAN cards will be linked.
What does Government say in this regard?
  • Right of a person to his or her body is not absolute, State has the power to take the life of a person
  • Submit to Laws: If one has to live in a collective called the ‘state’, one has to submit to its laws
  • No Right to abuse one’s body: Individual does not have a right to abuse his own body. One can not say I own my body and thus I will drink till I die.
  • People already give their data on social media: People part with all kinds of data through their mobile phones. How is an iris scan more intrusive than for e.g. photos ? The argument of so-called privacy and bodily integrity is bogus
  • Myopic view of the Rich: Criticism against the biometric system of identification used in Aadhaar enrolment was based on the “myopic viewpoint of the rich who do not anyway use the public distribution system
  • Empowerment: Aadhaar ensures empowerment by giving identity to people who actually need the welfare schemes of the State
  • AADHAR is a success already: The 113.7 crore Aadhaar cards produced so far were proof that people were eager to enrol.
  • Duplication of Aadhaar is “non-existent” unlike in PAN
  • Orderly world: Mandatory linkage of PAN with Aadhaar was a step towards a “more orderly world”
  • Better Targeting: It is to ensure that tax money goes to serve the poor and will create a better world
  • Help in solving crimes: Nothing wrong in the state collecting fingerprints to help prevent or to aid solving a crime
What does SC say in this regard?
  • Due process to be followed: A state can extinguish a person’s life only after following due process of law
  • Liberty and Dignity of the Citizen: The state has the duty to maintain the liberty of an individual. The state has, more importantly, the obligation to maintain the dignity of an individual. Dignity is an individual right
  • No Infringement of Fundamental Rights: Not against state regulations, but these regulations should not infringe upon the citizens’ fundamental rights
  • Might be used for State Surveillance: Fingerprint and iris impressions would be used to mount a state surveillance and the “nation would turn into a large concentration camp
  • Not everyone is a suspect: Is it alright to treat everyone as a suspect?

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