Aadhaar: Are a billion identities at risk on India’s biometric database
International Published on: 04 May, 2017 @ 9:37 PM
"My fingerprints and iris are mine and my own. The state cannot take away my body," a lawyer told India's Supreme Court last week.
Shyam Divan was arguing a crucial petition challenging a new law that makes it compulsory for people to submit a controversial biometric-based personal identification number while filing income tax returns.
Defending this law, the government's top law officer told the court on Tuesday that an individual's "right to the body is not an absolute right".
"You can have right over your body but the state can restrict trading in body organs, so the state can exercise control over the body," Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said.
At the heart of the latest challenge are rising concerns over the security of this mega biometric database and privacy of the number holders. (The government says it needs to link the identity number to income tax returns to improve compliance and prevent fraud.)Like