Why 200 people from Meghalaya want their Aadhaar records erased

The citizens have collectively written a letter to Aadhaar’s nodal body specifying that they have withdrawn their consent to be registered on the Aadhaar database, reports The Indian Express.


A group of 200 citizens in Meghalaya has signed up for a campaign demanding to “opt out” of the Aadhaar database and asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to remove all traces of them from the same.

The citizens have collectively written a letter to Aadhaar’s nodal body specifying that they have withdrawn their consent to be registered on the Aadhaar database, reported The Indian Express.

The campaign was launched in Shillong by the Meghalaya People’s Committee on Aadhaar and includes representatives of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), civil society collective Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR) along with other associations and individuals.

The draft of the letter demands that UIDAI “delete all the biometric, demographic, authentication and any other data that is on the UIDAI database, and inform when this is done; inform me of any places where my UID number has been ‘seeded’; inform any agency where my UID number has been seeded that they are to delete the number from their database and that I do not consent to my data being used by you or any third party or be shared with any third party, and any consent that may be recorded as having been given by me stands withdrawn forthwith”.

The KSU has been actively involved in opposing the Aadhaar project for a long time as it has argued that Aadhaar might lead to illegal immigrants claiming citizenship which in turn destabilises the demographic composition of the state.

Tarun Bhartiya, a TUR member, told Indian Express that there is no consent involved during the enrolment process of Aadhaar which gives an individual to choose whether he/she agrees to let a third party use his/her biometric data.

“When we send this letter to UIDAI, saying that we withdraw our consent to our data being used by other parties, we want to see how they will respond. If the UIDAI says that they deny our consent, we might think of approaching the courts, especially after the Supreme Court judgment on privacy,” he added.

A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the right to privacy as a fundamental right in the Constitution of India on August. The verdict paves the way for cases related to Aadhaar being mandatory which are still pending in the Supreme Court.

According to UIDAI website, Meghalaya and Assam have been the least successful in Aadhaar enrollment with Aadhaar saturation rates of 14.3 percent and 7.1 percent respectively.