Even as the Supreme Court is hearing a host of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, 1,202 people in Meghalaya have written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to erase their personal information from the site, saying their consent was not taken at the time of enrollment. In emails to the UIDAI, they have also asked for details about the organisations with whom their Aadhaar numbers had been shared, sources said. The residents have said their consent was not taken during enrollment, and even in cases where they had consented, they wanted to withdraw their consent and have their personal data removed from the Aadhaar database, the sources said. The UIDAI occasionally receives similar requests for cancellation of Aadhaar data. However, since no provision exists for surrender in the Aadhaar Act, 2016, these individuals have been informed that they can lock their biometrics to prevent any misuse. “No one as a citizen has any right to opt out of the state (or its laws). Some people may not like the Income Tax Act and may like to erase their PAN card data.
So can they opt out and request for erasing their birth certificates, college or school degrees or passport details?” the UIDAI said in a written reply.“No one can deny the fact that Aadhaar has proven to be a powerful, safe and secure digital platform to establish the identity of a person created on three basic doctrines of minimal information, optimal ignorance and a federated database, and is free from the traits of caste, colour, creed, race, profiling, etc,” the Aadhaar-issuing body said. Although Aadhaar-holders cannot opt out, the UIDAI has the right to cancel and suspend Aadhaar numbers. About 8.46 million Aadhaar numbers have been cancelled or suspended by the authority.