Prasad said that as a matter of policy and by design, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) precludes itself from aggregating information arising from the use of Aadhaar, tracking and profiling individuals.
"...the system by intent is blind to the purpose for which Aadhaar may be used at the front end by the resident. Also, the core biometrics is encrypted at the time of enrolment/updation. It is never kept unencrypted and is never shared," he added.
Prasad said Aadhaar is based on three core principles of "minimal information, optimal ignorance and federated database".
"In its whole lifecycle, an Aadhaar database contains only the information that the resident provides at the time of enrolment or updation... The database may also have mobile and e-mail, if provided by the resident, during enrolment or updation," he said.
Aadhaar database contains name, address, gender, date of birth/age, photograph and core biometrics (10 fingerprints and 2 iris scans) of the enrolled resident.
In response to another query, Prasad said non-resident Indians (NRIs) are entitled to obtain Aadhaar number after arrival in India.
"Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has already implemented facility of such Aadhaar enrolment for NRIs w.e.f. September 20, 2019... As on November 14, 2019, over 2,800 Aadhaar have been generated to NRIs," he said.
To another question, Prasad said a total of 3,433 URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) have been blocked on social media platforms this year (up to October 31).
The number of URLs blocked stood at 633 in 2016, 1,385 (in year 2017), and 2,799 (2018), he said.
"Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000 empowers the government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence..." he said.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.