The Supreme Court in a landmark decision on Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar but struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which allowed sharing of data with private entities.
The SC verdict means that telecom companies, e-commerce firms and all banks including the private ones cannot ask for biometric and other data from consumers to provide their services.
However, the verdict now raises a new question. What happens to all the data already shared with private firms?
According to UIDAI guidelines, an Aadhaar number holder is entitled to delink his biometric details shared with any authorised agency or service provider.
An individual can delink the Aadhaar details from their banks, telecom operators by submitting an application to the respective branch offices stating the reason.
According to a DNA report, people who have linked their Aadhaar details to app-based services can delink the Unique ID details by calling the customer care number of the app service. The customer care service will send an email for which the individual is required to reply with a picture of his/her Aadhaar card. The firm will send a mail confirming that the Aadhaar will be unlinked within 72 hours.
A leading cyber law expert and Supreme Court lawyer Pavan Duggal said, "The data now needs to be dismantled but the onus is to make sure companies do not make copies of the data and use it to monetise their operations. The big question is which agency will audit this humongous task."
(With inputs from PTI)