Home Minister Amit Shah has pitched for the creation of a multipurpose identity card that will subsume information such as from the Aadhaar card, passport, PAN card, among others. This makes one wonder how it would differ from Aadhaar, which was also conceived on the same ground? What’s noteworthy, though, is the merging of multiple databases, including that of Census 2021 (which is going to be a digital exercise) and of National Population Register (NPR), with the new card. For a nation where data protection laws and systems are weak, this exercise could expose citizens to privacy risks. It may have its benefits in policymaking, but policymakers ought to be mindful of them.
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