Anil Ambani owned telco Reliance Communications on Thursday said that it will enable Aadhaar based authentication for people wanting to buy a new phone connection. The company is waiting for clearances from the department of telecom to implement Aadhar authentication.
Basically to get a new connection, you don’t have to submit any papers to the operator. All you need to do is to walk into a retail shop which sells reliance connections and provide them with your Aadhaar details. The identity of the buyer is verified online with the Aadhaar database and a connection can be activated immediately.
The Problem With Aadhaar
We don’t mean to sound overly skeptic, but the problem here is simple. Reliance will have your Aadhar number down in their database and will probably store it for as long as they like. So the next time you forget to pay your phone bill, they might just cut your electricity.
Don’t get it? Here’s a possibility.
Say you have a Reliance phone connection, which is linked to your Aadhaar number. You also buy electricity from Reliance. For some reason, you forget to pay your phone bill. The next time you go to pay the electricity bill, a search will throw up the fact that you have also have to pay the phone bill. Get it?
Its the same thing with bank accounts. Crime records, health records, hospitals, insurance agencies and others.
Interlinking of Databases
Interlinking of databases, with a unique key, is one of the situations dreaded by advocates of privacy. Its easier to profile and target people with this. Like all things, interlinked databases (say the crime records and ration card database), can be put to good use or bad. But the fact that Aadhaar enables makes it easy, is disturbing.