NEW DELHI: A group of social activists today attacked the Centre on the Aadhar bill, saying the proposed legislation may be misused for "mass surveillance" as it does not address concerns over privacy. At a press conference, the activists said the government will have "sweeping powers" to make Aadhar mandatory to avail benefits of various welfare schemes which will be "extremely unfair".
"It will used for mass surveillance. The law will be an infringement on the rights of privacy of people," activist Kavita Srivastava said.
The Lok Sabha last week had passed the Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016' which the government says will help save thousands of crore rupees by routing subsidy through the Aadhaar system. The Bill gives statutory backing to the unique identity number scheme.
Nikhil Dey, a social activist, said government must delink Aadhar from welfare schemes. "In Rajasthan, you can see long queues in the shops as it takes almost eight minutes for a person to scan his or her fingers," he said adding "Public monitoring of implementation of the schemes is the best way."
During the debate on the bill in Lok Sabha last week, some parties too had raised questions about provisions of the Bill, insisting that there is apprehension that it can be used for "mass surveillance" and "ethnic cleansing".