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Tamil Nadu pushes for Aadhaar-EB card linking despite data risks

TN govt’s push for Aadhar-EB card linkage raises concerns like creation of an indirect record of property ownership

Aadhaar, PAN Card

We missed this earlier: After the Centre’s push for linking Aadhaar and Voter ID, the Tamil Nadu government mandated residents to link their Electricity Board (EB) card with their Aadhaar number. State Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji said the linkage will benefit the loss-making Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), reported The News Minute. However, experts online and the Tamil Nadu public at large has voiced privacy concerns about the move. Why it matters: Central and state government authorities are fast-embracing the idea of using or linking Aadhaar for various government activities. However, as has been widely covered in the past, the Aadhaar number is neither a unique ID nor does it function like a Social Security Code in the US. Despite this, Aadhaar is linked with other sensitive documents of citizens like their Voter ID, PAN card and now the EB card of Tamil Nadu residents. All of this is a point of concern, especially due to the lack of a data protection law in India. Even the latest version of such a Bill has received much criticism for failing to adequately address safety and privacy concerns of people. Move from JPG to OTP for linking: In the November 24 version of the government directions, residents were required to upload a JPG copy of their Aadhaar number. This was amended by November 29 to Aadhaar-linked mobile OTP option. According to Srikanth Lakshmanan of the Cashless Consumer awareness collective, this shift allows UIDAI to be aware of the…

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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