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Unique Health ID creation is voluntary and consensual, government claims in Parliament

India’s vaccine portal caused a stir when beneficiaries were surprised to know that they had signed up for a new ID.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on November 30 said that the creation of Unique Health IDs through vaccinations on CoWIN was consent-based, in response to a Rajya Sabha question on health ID provision through Covid-19 vaccinations. "Yes, there is a provision to issue Unique Health IDs (UHIDs) through COVID-19 vaccination certificates through Co-WIN for those vaccinated beneficiaries who have provided Aadhaar as Prescribed Photo ID Document during verification prior to vaccination and authenticated using Aadhaar along with consent to generate Unique Health ID (UHID)" — Minister of State for MoHFW In its response, the MoHFW also cited consent recorded for the same through the vaccinator module of the CoWIN platform - it is to be noted that this is only visible on the vaccinator module and not the user-facing beneficiary module of CoWIN. There have been reported instances of individuals being misled into believing Aadhaar-based authentication was compulsory for vaccination which notably is a prerequisite to letting the government issue Health IDs to individuals. In October, a petition was filed before the Supreme Court to disallow mandatory Aadhaar-based authentication for vaccination. Consent details recorded on CoWIN vaccinator module In its response to TMC MP Md. Nadimul Haque's question, the MoHFW reproduces the terms of consent recorded for UHID creation. Voluntary and consensual use of Aadhaar: “I, hereby declare that I am voluntarily sharing my Aadhaar Number / Virtual ID issued by UIDAI, with National Health Authority (NHA) for the sole purpose of creation of Health ID," the…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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