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As it weighs the..(1)..of the Aadhaar project, the Supreme Court now..(2)..the lack of a clearly defined right to privacy. How can a unique biometric ID be held to violate a right that is imprecise in the first place? Speaking for the Centre, Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi made the claim that privacy was not a fundamental right in India. He went on to..(3)..that a larger constitutional bench be set up to examine how to treat privacy, and questioned the validity of interim judgments by smaller benches.
Rohatgi is right on the law — there is no blanket right to privacy in India. The courts have outlined a..(4)..of privacy in a series of cases related to state surveillance and personal autonomy, and connected it with the right to liberty. But even then, compelling state interest has been held to..(5)..individual privacy. There are no overarching legal curbs on the collection or use of personal data.
But the Centre is entirely wrong to assume this legal fuzziness entitles Aadhaar to carry on without accompanying privacy protections or even statutory backing. In fact, it..(6)..the government to urgently enact a law governing the use of biometric data, at the very least. The state has routinely collected personal information, including fingerprints, from citizens, with no formal accountability.Whatever its manifest welfare benefits, Aadhaar must not become a tool of control for the state, which it inevitably is, unless the limits are clearly spelt out.
Right from the days when it was conceived, there have been concerns about the awesome power of the programme, the way it could be..(7)..for government surveillance or usurped by commercial interests — given that private players are actively involved in the data collection. Aadhaar’s scale and precision only makes it absolutely..(8)..that individuals need to be given control of how their personal information is used. This is not only..(9)..to Aadhaar’s applications, it extends into all aspects of government data. While rules govern individual arenas like financial information, property trespass, phone records and so on, there is no comprehensive law safeguarding an individual’s privacy. Instead of..(10)..in the Supreme Court, the Centre should take the initiative to urgently create and pass privacy legislation in Parliament.
- (1) focusses
- (1) adheres
- (1) call
- (1) suspension
- (1) override
- (1) rules
- (1) shown
- (1) clear
- (1) obvious
- (1) giving