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LALIT accuses Minister Badhain of continued ID Data Storage


As soon as LALIT sent its second letter to the Data Protection Commissioner, on 14 September, 2015, she, in turn, wrote to the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, with a copy to the Prime Minister’s Office (section Home Affairs). Two days later, LALIT received an acknowledgement of receipt from the Prime Minister’s office of our “letter dated 16 June”.

 The Data Projection Commissioner announced a site visit to check on MNIC operations and processes in the ID Card system, planned for 16 September. We have heard nothing since.

 We have still not heard any official statement from Minister Badhain about:

 1. Whether photographs of citizens are still being stored digitally in the central data bank, and thus permitting one-to-many identification.  

2. Whether he considers storage and retention of data to somehow exclude temporary storage of biometric data like fingerprints and photographs, and quasi-permanent storage of photographs and fingerprint minutiae on the State’s ID Cards.

3. How come there is still no change in the two laws declared unconstitutional.

 He has not even made a public statement about the figleaf “consent forms” being signed.

 LALIT re-iterates that it is high time the Minister cut the state’s losses, and scrapped the Card for all uses except those the same as the old card. This means no electronic chip, an ordinary photograph that is recognizable, and no central data base linked to the cards. It is also high time to specify that ID cards are not compulsory at all, and that they can be used alongside other forms of identification, like passports, driving licenses and so on.