442% rise in the number of URLs blocked
The government also clarified that there is no proposal to link Aadhaar with social media accounts. The linkage is a contentious subject currently heard in the Supreme Court.
According to the reply, while the government had blocked 633 URLs in 2016, the number climbed up to 3,433 in 2019 (till October 31), a jump of 442%.
The question was raised by Congress MP Jothimani S from Tamil Nadu who had also asked IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad details of the removal of “objectionable online content posted on social media.”
In his reply, Prasad wrote that section 69A of the IT Act 2000 empowers government to “block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource under certain conditions, including in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state and public order.” Replying to the question on “privacy concerns about biometric data stored by UIDAI and leakages of personal information,” Prasad said the “core biometrics is encrypted at the time of enrolment/updation. It is never kept unencrypted and is never shared.”
“For security of Aadhaar data, UIDAI has a well-designed, multi-layer robust security system in place and the same is being constantly upgraded to maintain highest level of data security and integrity,” the reply stated, adding that security audits are conducted on regular basis to strengthen security and privacy of data.