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Why Tamil Nadu govt must reconsider its move mandating Aadhaar for schemes: Internet Freedom Foundation

IFF has requested the Tamil Nadu government to provide residents with a choice to produce an alternate document of identification

Violation of privacy and exclusion of rightful beneficiaries are reasons why the Tamil Nadu government must reconsider its order mandating Aadhaar for availing all State government schemes, says the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF). The IFF has written to the Tamil Nadu Finance Secretary requesting the government to provide residents with a choice to produce an alternate document of identification such as a driving license, voter ID, or passport, among others, to avail benefits of such schemes. Why it matters? The Tamil Nadu State government’s move to link Aadhaar for all pensions and other services came after the government had already been pushing for Aadhaar linkage for electricity consumption too. The Madras High Court recently rejected a plea challenging the order. The move to link Aadhaar with documents for services other than state schemes and subsidies has been previously challenged in court given concerns of exclusion and the right to privacy. IFF’s letter to the Tamil Nadu government reiterates these concerns, which have been fundamental to the age-old debate on Aadhaar database expansion. What are the concerns raised by IFF? The IFF observes that the Tamil Nadu government’s claim that the move will enable beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a seamless manner without having to produce multiple identity proofs is contradictory. This is because people who do not possess Aadhaar have to submit an Aadhaar Enrolment Identification slip and any other identification documents such as a PAN card, bank or post-office passbook, Voter ID, and passport, among others. The…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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