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Blog Details


Should Aadhaar Database be made Accessible to Investigation Agencies in India?

In light of an incident where Aadhaar data; which could have been helpful in identification of first time offenders, was denied to officials of National Crime Records Bureau, New Delhi [1], it was found that use of Aadhaar data is prohibited under Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, with an exception of permission being granted in case of any national security issues only (as per Section 33 of Aadhaar Act, 2016) [1]. Furthermore, this incidence also highlighted that such rule hindered the process of nabbing criminals and controlling crime in the country.

Considering the fact that in countries like USA, Social Security data containing personal information is accessible to investigation agencies and even public in accordance with country’s Privacy Act of 1974 and specific legal authorities, using secure transmission methods to protect the information [2], and is also frequently used for running criminal background checks [3], and, the fact that Aadhaar card details are mandatorily/optionally required almost everywhere in India, from Banks to Income Tax Department, Travel Ticket Bookings to Mobile Service Providers and Job Applications to College Entrance Examinations, and can easily be accessed by members of general public, it is high time that Indian laws pertaining to Aadhaar must be amended, and at least limited access to Aadhaar database should be provided to investigation agencies in accordance with laws of privacy in the country.



[1] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/use-of-aadhaar-biometric-data-for-investigating-crime-not-allowed-under-law-uidai/articleshow/64702359.cms

[2] https://www.ssa.gov/open/story-2016-open-government-plan4.1.html

[3] https://smallbusiness.chron.com/use-social-security-number-background-check-2563.html