People question Aadhaar but ready to get naked for US visa: KJ Alphons

People question Aadhaar but ready to get naked for US visa: KJ Alphons

People question Aadhaar but ready to get naked for US visa: KJ Alphons

Two days after making a contentious analogy to dismiss privacy concerns involved in issuance of Aadhaar cards, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology K J Alphons has reiterated that criticism over the security issues is misplaced.

Speaking with reporters here on Sunday, Alphons said Aadhaar collected the least amount of information - nothing substantially more than a telephone directory provides - from citizens. The minister also dismissed concerns over leaks of personal details by stating that the biometric data sourced for Aadhaar had "never been breached".

On Friday, speaking at the #Future digital summit held in Kochi, Alphons had sparked a row when he targeted those who criticised Aadhaar, by pointing out exhaustive documentation and stringent screening methods followed during the US visa application process. "We have absolutely no problem going and putting our fingerprint and getting our whole body naked before the white man at all. But when the Government of India, which is your government, asks you your name and your address, nothing more, there is a massive revolution saying there is an intrusion of privacy," he had said.

On Sunday, the minister revisited the US visa-Aadhaar analogy stating that the problem of privacy was being overstated when all the government asks is the "simplest" of information.

When pointed out that the argument was skewed considering that the visa application was a matter of personal choice while the Union government was making Aadhaar a mandatory document, Alphons said the government was not denying benefits to those not in possession of Aadhaar cards.

The minister also refuted allegations that data from the official app of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was being shared without the users' consent. "Do you think the prime minister of India is going to transfer data to some private company in the US," he asked.

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