During the Nasscom India Leadership Forum 2017 on Wednesday Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said the company’s newly-launched telecom venture Reliance Jio has been able to acquire a million customers a day because of Aadhaar.
They have crossed 100 million customer base since it launched in September 2016.
“When we started Jio we set a target of 100 million customers in shortest time. Even we didn’t imagine we will do it in months. Aadhaar enabled us to acquire a million customers a day, which is unheard of in the industry,” Ambani said.
However, the data sharing between the Central government and Reliance-Jio Private Limited has been contested in the Kerala High Court in December.
Jio sim can be activated within hours after the sim cards are authenticated with Aadhaar numbers. The company doesn’t mention for how long the information would be retained.
The Kerala High Court had sent notices to the Central government, chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and Reliance-Jio Private Limited on a public interest writ petition filed by Sunil TG, general secretary of Kerala Pradesh Youth Congress, according to the Hindu.
According to the petition, as per the Aadhaar Act, all data collected by Aadhaar authority is meant to be protected in a permanent locking manner and can only be accessed by biometric authentication.
However, Reliance Jio Private Limited is not the only company to use the eKYC process. Airtel and Vodafone are also listed as eKYC User Agency under UIDAI, allowing them to validate individual customer using biometrics and Aadhaar details. The process is believed to be faster, foolproof and will help avoid the misuse of sim cards.
Here’s a list of all eKYC User Agencies under UIDAI. However, the permission granted by the UIDAI and the Centre is in violation of the Aadhaar (Target Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
The petitioner had sought a directive to the Cabinet Secretary and chairman of the UIDAI to show cause the authorising department for use of Aadhaar information by private companies. The petition also sought cancellation of permission given to Reliance-Jio Private Limited for authentication of data using Aadhaar.
[Copyright by Asmita Sarkar]