Rajya Sabha

July 25, 2017

Derek O’Brien makes a Special Mention on data security and privacy of Aadhaar Cards

Derek O’Brien makes a Special Mention on data security and privacy of Aadhaar Cards


We are currently living in what has been described as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, i.e., Digital Revolution. Since the mid-20th century, there has been a quantum leap in digitisation, and now around half the world’s population are connected on the World Wide Web.

As per a 2016 report by NASSCOM, the number of web users in India will see a two-fold rise to 730 million by 2020 against 350 million at the end of 2015. The report also claims that 75 per cent of new internet users in India will come from rural areas. With the increasing digitisation, there is an increasing need for the security of the personal information stored by users.

In the last few months, various cases were reported about the Aadhaar data leakages and cyberattacks: the very recent Jio data breach, Wannacry and Petya ransomware attacks, and Aadhaar data leaks from Government portals. Data of as many as 12 crore people may have been compromised because of the Jio leak, and of over 13 crore following the Aadhaar data leaks. Twenty-one such leaks have been reported as of April 27, 2017. This shows the increasing frequency of data security issues, year by year. A 115 crore Indians already have Aadhaar numbers and are expected to transact digitally. As payment, health and education records are being stored digitally, such cyberattacks on personal data are becoming a global concern.

Therefore, it is essential the Government takes cognizance of the issue immediately and implements suitable measures to check all such problems in the future.