The Indian government has extended the deadline for public feedback on its proposal to allow private entities to verify Aadhaar numbers. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) released a draft of the proposal on April 20, seeking public feedback until May 5. However, the deadline has now been extended to May 20.
The proposed amendment would permit non-government and state entities to authenticate Aadhaar in specific cases. To utilize the Aadhaar authentication process, non-government entities would need to submit a proposal justifying the need for such verification.
If the concerned ministry or government department is convinced that the proposed Aadhaar authentication serves the public interest, they will forward the proposal to the central government, which will then pass it on to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Privacy experts and lawyers have criticized the proposal, expressing concerns that it could increase the risk of fraud for users. In 2018, the Supreme Court of India ruled that while Aadhaar numbers could be used to identify beneficiaries of state welfare programs, private entities should not conduct such verifications.
With the extension of the feedback deadline, stakeholders and the public will have additional time to express their opinions and concerns regarding the proposal to allow private entities to utilize Aadhaar verification.