Contrary to the Centre's claims, contracts signed with foreign firms by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), custodian of Aadhaar data, show that they got "full access" to classified data including fingerprints, iris scan info, and personal information like date of birth, address and mobile number of the applicants. They were also allowed to store the data for seven years.
This was revealed through an RTI application filed by Bengaluru-based Col Matthew Thomas, one of the petitioners in the right to privacy case currently being heard in Supreme Court. The RTI reply showed that the nature of the contracts contradicted UIDAI's statements that no private entity had access to unencrypted Aadhaar data. The contract says that the company was given Aadhaar data access "as part of its job".
Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, a telecom and IT expert, said, "One cannot check for duplication without having raw data. If foreign firms had access to such data, as is clear by the language in the contract, it is potentially dangerous and needs to be looked into."
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