New Delhi: The Indian government’s Aadhaar-based data protection regime is a complex mess.
The government says that Aadhaar is a biometric identification system that helps secure access to services and public spaces, but privacy experts have long complained about the government’s use of this information to track and profile citizens.
That is a problem because Aadhaar data is used to track every Indian, regardless of their citizenship, political affiliation, gender identity or marital status, said Ramesh Thakur, senior counsel at the Center for Internet and Society, a New Delhi-based nonprofit that promotes open data.
The government says it uses Aadhaar to protect the privacy of citizens by linking the details of their biometric information to a unique ID number that is used by the government to verify identity.
But critics say that this information can also be used to access private data, including the identity of a citizen.
According to a 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office, data from India’s two main databases — the National Population Register (NPR) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) — has been used to monitor citizens’ personal and social data for nearly a decade.
The NPR database records details of births, marriages, deaths and bank accounts, while the SSA database records the names, addresses, dates of birth, gender and social security numbers of individuals, among other information.
The Privacy Act of 1974 defines privacy as a right that cannot be taken away, and the Aadhaar Act of 2016 requires all government entities to keep information about citizens in an open and transparent way.
But some activists are skeptical that the government is following the law.
Privacy is the second-highest priority for the government after national security, which is one of the major reasons the government has sought to introduce new privacy measures in the past.
The Indian government says Aadhaar is the most secure identity database, but critics say the government misuses this data to track citizens.
In July, the Indian parliament passed a new law that allows the government “to request the Aadhaar number of an individual and to access that individual’s Aadhaar number to provide a service to a person.”
The government said this new law “provides additional privacy protections to people by requiring the data to be kept separate from other data in the national database.”
In a statement, the government said it would work to make Aadhaar data more transparent.
“We will continue to improve and expand the existing privacy provisions of the Aadhaar Program and provide better protection to individuals and their data in case of misuse,” the government wrote.
The Aadhaar Act, though, allows the state to request individuals to create new IDs, which can be used for identity verification.
And the government says the data collected by Aadhaar can be accessed and used for public security purposes.
Critics say the Aadhaar data can also become used for discriminatory purposes.
In December, a court in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu ordered the government and private companies to delete all personal information about about people based on Aadhaar data, in response to a court order in 2014.
The data was collected through a program called Aadhaar NIIO, which was launched by the state government.
The court order also ordered the private companies, including Google, to delete information about people who have not completed their enrolment.
A government spokesperson said the data is being deleted because it is a personal information.
“It is not a government data and it can not be used in a discriminatory way.
There will be no use of Aadhaar data for the purposes of discriminatory discrimination,” the spokesperson said in an email.
But privacy advocates say this data can be turned into a tool to track individuals, including their political leanings, religious affiliation and political affiliation based on their Aadhaar number.
“Aadhaar is an identity that is not limited to only a single set of individuals.
It’s an identifier for everybody,” said Jyotiraditya Reddy, senior data protection counsel at Amnesty International India.
Reddy told IPS that Aadhaar data has also been used for other discriminatory purposes, including targeting women for domestic violence.
“We’re hearing from some women that they’ve been discriminated against based on whether they are pregnant,” Reddy said.
The council also said that the data collection and sharing system is “fundamentally flawed” and that it is “not adequate” to address privacy concerns.
Aadarshan Kumar, the executive director of the Centre for Internet & Society, which promotes open information, said that Aadhaar