Thrissur: Close on the heels of the leak of Aadhaar data of 14 lakh people in Jharkhand, personal details of 35 lakhs of pensioners have been published in Kerala in stark violation of the Aadhaar Act.
The pensioners whose personal data has been breached had linked their Aadhaar number and bank account as required by the “direct benefit transfer” scheme. The service pension website had put up their names, addresses, phone numbers, bank account numbers, Aadhaar numbers and photographs for anyone to download.
The site also had the pension id used to draw information. The data has been pulled from the website after the news created a stir.
The publication of Aadhaar data can be punished with imprisonment up to three years, according to the Aadhaar Act. The Union Information Technology ministry had reminded the chief secretaries and secretaries of every state of the section on March 25.
The Union ministry had asked the states to remove any such data from government websites if they were not able to secure it.
Many of the joint secretaries had issued similar directives to their subordinates. Clearly, they have not been adhered to.
Not much seems to have improved since the shocking publication of the personal data of ration card holders and their families on the Kerala Civil Supplies Department website a few months ago.
The website had the age, date of birth, gas connection number, annual income and photograph of everyone who had a ration card in their name as the government tried to let beneficiaries renew their cards through the site. The data was available for a month for anyone who cared to look.
Another instance of callous handling of personal data came to light when the e-grants website published the details of students who had won scholarships.
Both websites pulled the data after Manorama reported on it.