The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, Indian nationals can enroll to secure an Aadhar number by providing their demographics and biometrics. The Issuing Authority cannot deactivate or omit the Aadhaar number after its issue.

The purpose of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, is to aid the underprivileged and those living below the poverty line with the opportunity to live better lives. Read more to understand the details about the Aadhaar Act 2016, the Aadhaar rules 2020, salient features of the Aadhaar act, etc.

Details of Aadhaar Act 2016 and Privacy Issues

The UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) issues a 12-digit random number to Indian residents who have completed the verification process following the Aadhaar Act.

Download Aadhaar Act 2016 PDF

  • The Aadhaar number is a unique identification number assigned to citizens that can be verified online.
  • According to the Aadhaar Act 2016, any citizen of India may voluntarily enroll to obtain an Aadhaar number regardless of gender or age.

Salient Features of Aadhaar Act 2016

An Aadhaar number issued to a person may not be reassigned to another person. An Aadhaar number must be a random number with no relation to the Aadhaar number holder’s attributes or identity. The eligibility of the Aadhaar Act 2016 is explained in detail below.

The Aadhaar Act requires anyone who is a resident of India (or has lived in the country for at least 182 days in the twelve months before the enrolment date) to apply for several Aadhaar by providing demographic and biometric information.

Properties of Aadhaar number:

  • An Aadhaar number allocated to an individual shall not be reassigned to any other individual.
  • An Aadhaar number is an arbitrary number and takes no relation to the details or identity of the Aadhaar number holder.
  • Every Aadhaar number holder, to prove his identity, may willingly use his Aadhaar number in physical or electronic form through authentication or offline verification.

Aadhaar Act 2016 Security

  • The Aadhaar Act 2016 applies the accountability on the UIDAI to secure individuals’ identity report and authentication documents.
  • The Aadhaar Act declares that the Unique Identification Authority of India shall safeguard the information in its possession or control, including information stored in the Central Identities Data Repository.
  • It is secure and protected against unauthorized access, use, or disclosure under this Act or its regulations and accidental or intentional destruction, loss, or damage.

Limitations on Sharing Personal Details

No core biometric data gathered or developed under this Act must be:

  • Shared with any individual for any reason whatsoever or
  • Utilized for any intent other than generation of Aadhaar numbers and authentication under this Act.

Aadhaar Act 2016 – Penalties for Offences

  • An individual s punishable with imprisonment of up to three years and a penalty of Rs 10 lakh (minimum) for unauthorized access to the centralized database, including disclosing any details stored according to the Aadhaar Act.
  • Suppose a requesting entity or an enrolling agency breaks the regulations; in that case, their violations are punishable by up to one-year confinement, a penalty of Rs 10,000, or Rs 1 lakh (for businesses) as per the Aadhaar Act 2016.

Information Revealed Cases:

In two cases; listed information is revealed:

In the interest of national safety, a Joint Secretary in the central government may issue a suggestion for proclaiming:

  • Aadhaar number
  • Demographic information
  • Biometric details (fingerprint, iris scan, and other biological attributes specified by regulations)
  • Photograph.

The court order may reveal the following:

  • An individual’s Aadhaar number
  • Photograph
  • Demographic information.

Regarding clarity, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits, and Services) Act 2016 has been a fundamental differentiator.

Resolving privacy situations can be feasible if a necessary permission and purpose limitation framework is built.

UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India

The full form of UIDAI is the Unique Identification Authority of India, and it is statutory governance established under the provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

  • It was appointed on 12 July 2016 by the Government of India under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • UIDAI’s head office is in Delhi.
  • It is accountable for the authentication methodologies and achieves other functions.
  • It contains a Chairperson, the CEO or chief executive officer, and two members who are work part-time, nominated by the Central Government.
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