Social media accounts must not be linked to Aadhaar: Official

NEW DELHI: Social media accounts should not be linked with Aadhaar, a top government official told ET arguing that use of the 12 digit unique identity number should be carefully contemplated.

This comes after the Supreme Court (SC) has sought the central government’s view on the matter after it agreed to hear the pleas of Facebook seeking the transfer of four public interest litigations (PILs) on such a linkage that were pending before the Madras, Bombay and Madhya Pradesh high courts.

“Aadhaar should not be linked with social media… There are a lot of concerns that are there around privacy which the earlier judgement had highlighted. The use of Aadhaar has to be very carefully studies from many angles,” said the official. The person who did not wish to be named said that the Puttaswamy judgement which ruled that privacy is a fundamental right has to be carefully considered before any such linkage can be suggested. “Aadhaar is not material to tackling crime on social media,” the official said.

ET had reported last week that the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) has written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to seek its opinion on the matter. Even though MeitY is yet to have a final opinion on the matter, such linkage seems difficult since the unique identity number can be linked only with the welfare schemes and subsidies which are funded out of the Consolidated Fund of the India. Even if the Aadhaar number is linked to the social media account, it will serve no purpose since in the event of a crime, the government will require the mobile number or other details linked with the Aadhaar number which is not permitted under the Aadhaar Act. UIDAI has not yet responded to Meity so far, another official told ET. The SC meanwhile has deferred the matter for a hearing on September 24 on Friday.