Privacy violation not a key concern for 92% Aadhar card holders: Report

Privacy violation not a key concern for 92% Aadhar card holders: Report

Privacy breach is not a vital concern for bulk of Aadhar card holders, indicates the outcomes of one of the biggest nationwide polls on the impact of India’s 12-digit unique digital identity. While 92 percent of 167,000 respondents across 28 states and union territories expressed pride with Aadhaar, 8 per cent expressed concerns over its potential misuse. The State of Aadhaar 2019 report, prepared by Dalberg, a social impact advisory group, says that the toughest part of Aadhaar procedure is its own updation as one in five respondents who tried to upgrade their Aadhaar did not succeed.

“The study isn’t an attempt to adjudicate the ultimate merits of Aadhaar. It is all about taking residents’ views into consideration to assist better design and implement Aadhaar. We think Aadhaar’s success will ultimately depend on how well the app may learn from the experiences and concerns about people who use or are not yet able to use Aadhaar in their daily lives,” said Gaurav Gupta, Dalberg’s Partner and Asia Regional Director in a statement.

Among favorable results, 80 percent respondents said Aadhaar improved social safety service delivery, particularly PDS rations, while creating use assurance scheme MGNREGS, and social pensions more dependable. Using Aadhaar, residents were 40 per cent more likely to obtain a new SIM card within one day, in comparison to using other types of ID, the poll indicated.

The report also demonstrates that despite the Supreme Court judgment to not make Aadhaar compulsory for availing providers, many men and women find it facto compulsory for bank accounts, SIM cards, and college enrolment. “More than half of those who employed Aadhaar to get a SIM card or bank accounts said that the service provider accepted only Aadhaar for identification purposes,” it stated.

Instances of issues using Aadhaar leading to a refusal of welfare services were pointed out, as 0.8 per cent of people experienced exclusion as a result of Aadhaar-related motives from a key welfare service (PDS rations, MGNREGS, social pensions) that they had earlier received. Aadhaar could have also led to better inclusion of services as 49 percent respondents said they used Aadhaar to get one or more services like food rations, bank accounts, and social pensions for the very first time. For 8 per cent of individuals, Aadhaar had been their first ever ID. While 72 percent appreciated the Aadhaar is a suitable universal ID, nearly half of those expressed concerns over linking it with too many providers.

With 95 per cent adults and 75 percent children having Aadhaar, its near universal existence is confirmed, although there’s a notable minority that still doesn’t have Aadhaar. “An estimated 28 million adults don’t have Aadhaar, largely in Assam and Meghalaya where enrolment has been slow because of questions about legal livelihood, amongst others. Among vulnerable groups, a higher share of third-gender residents (30 per cent) and homeless people (27 percent ) don’t have the ID,” the report stated.

While the use of Aadhaar to ease social safety solutions is standard, its newer digital features are yet to be utilised in the same manner. The survey suggests that 77 per cent respondents have never used features such as mAadhaar, QR code, virtual Aadhaar or masked Aadhaar. “Only 39 per cent taxpayers have the right mobile phone number connected to their own Aadhaar,” it states.

“We believe that technology, used responsibly, is a potent force for improvement. We encourage high quality research as a very important component of system level effect – to help development and continuous improvement of technology alternatives. As the report shows, Aadhaar has been a game-changer, touching nearly 1.2 billion people and is an important feature in their own lives. It’s empowered addition for India at precisely the same time the unfinished agenda lies with this segment.

The report is based on two surveys – a pulse survey of 147,868 families across 28 states and union territories, and in-depth interviews with 19,209 families in 16 states and one union territory. It is also informed by insights gathered from over 100 ethnographic interviews using human-centred design study conducted in four nations spanning Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Assam.

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