The amended bill also provides for a stiff Rs 1 crore penalty and a jail term for private entities for storing Aadhaar data.
New Delhi: Amid concerns over data protection and privacy by the members of Opposition, Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by voice vote to provide legal backing for voluntary seeding of biometric Aadhaar ID with mobile numbers and bank accounts.
It also gives option to children to exit from the biometric ID programme on attaining 18 years of age, and stipulates stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar and violation of privacy.
Presenting the Bill, Union minister for law and justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation was needed in view of suggestions from the Supreme Court over some amendments in the present law pertaining to Aadhaar.
Mr Prasad said Aadhaar is voluntary and informed consent of the biometric identity holder has to be obtained before it is used.
“The amendments addresses the privacy and security concerns. It provides that no service or benefit of any scheme will be denied for lack of Aadhaar,” Mr Prasad said.
The amended bill also provides for a stiff Rs 1 crore penalty and a jail term for private entities for storing Aadhaar data. He added Aadhaar data can only be shared when there is a threat to national security or there is court order.
“We have said that the mobile companies can take Aadhar details only if the customer gives consent. There should be an alternative to ID and address proof to Aadhar like the Ration Card or Passport. As on date 123.81 crore Aadhaar cards exist in India and 69.38 crore mobile phones are connected to Aadhaar. Besides, 65.91 per cent of bank accounts too are linked with Aadhar and Rs 7.48 lakh crores have been released under Direct Benefit Transfers,” Union minister for law and justice said.