UIDAI Refuses to Share Aadhaar Data for Govt’s Paperless Travel Scheme DigiYatra

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Govt is now looking at other forms of identity proofs like passport although have said that their benefits will not be as useful as that of an Aadhaar card

DigiYatra, Paperless travel scheme, aviation ministry DigiYatra, Aadhaar biometric data, UIDAI Aadhaar data
Image courtesy: Pixabay

DigiYatra – government’s flagship scheme to make travelling easy, hassle-free and without human involvement, by going entirely paperless has now faced a problem after the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has declined to share the biometric data with aviation authorities over security issues.

The government is now looking at other alternatives to implement the scheme

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A senior official associated with the aviation ministry said: “UIDAI has refused to share biometric data with us due to security reasons. Now, we are looking at other identity options to implement the scheme.”

DigiYatra was hitched with the idea to make flying simpler for passengers who will link their Aadhaar to airlines and other ecosystem players during the time of booking to avoid hassle-free entry to airport and enjoy automated check-ins without the need of any paper or human involvement. Therefore, Aadhaar-linked passengers can get through the security scanners with biometric solutions. It was expected that a database would be maintained of passengers based on they being frequent flyers or not, and if they are then to make that journey, less hassled.

Now, the other options that the government is looking at are other identification documents such as passport but the feasibility of these ID cards is under the process of review by officials. They have admitted that the benefits offered by other identity documents will not be as useful as those of the Aadhaar card.

UIDAI has rejected sharing of Aadhaar biometric data for crime investigations

In the midst of this obstacle however, the government has already declared the use of Aadhaar card details for passengers to avoid long queues at Varanasi and Vijayawada airports. Even so, UIDAI’s decline has caused the DigiYatra move to get halted.

UIDAI has also declined to share Aadhaar biometric data for crime investigations as proposed by the chief of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The crime body had asked UIDAI to give the former limited access to Aadhaar details in order for police to catch first time offenders and for the identifying unidentified dead bodies.

However, UIDAI might be stressing on a recent instance that had come to light wherein Aadhaar details were leaked and had raised questions on the security of biometric data of Indian citizens. Although UIDAI has claimed that their database is safe and cannot be breached, these incidents have made them skeptical about providing biometric data to the aviation ministry.

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