18:45 GMT29 January 2020
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    For the third time, Edward Snowden has condemned the Indian government’s ongoing efforts to mandate that citizens link their unique identification numbers (Aadhar) to their bank accounts and essential services like telephone connections and cooking gas connections.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The government of India is battling in court to prove the legality of its plans to collect biometric data from citizens, prompting American whistleblower Edward Snowden to sound the "mass surveillance" alarm. In his latest tweet, Snowden said that demands to link Aadhaar to various services must be criminalized.

    Edward Snowden also attempted to bust the claims of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which has started an online campaign: #AadhaarMythBuster.

    Earlier this month, an Indian journalist faced police reprisal for reporting the vulnerability of Aadhar data. In her report, published by the Tribune, the journalist had claimed it took her less than ten dollars to get access to the details of millions of Indian citizens. Snowden had then said that instead of prosecuting the journalist, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) should be penalized for the alleged leak.

    READ MORE: Indian Gov't Adds New Security Layer to Protect Sensitive Citizen's Data

    Meanwhile, after attracting a volley of criticism at home and abroad, the UIDAI has introduced new security features such as Virtual IDs to authenticate and verify the Aadhaar numbers. In last three years, various cases of purported data breaches, including duplication of cards and fraudulent bank transactions made using leaked biometric data, have been reported in the media.


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    biometric data, breach of privacy, privacy rights, citizens' data, Edward Snowden, India
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