Violating SC rules, matrimonial site sells love, marriage using Aadhaar data

The Supreme Court judgement in the Aadhaar case had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which allowed sharing of data with private entities

Violating SC rules, matrimonial site sells love, marriage using Aadhaar data

Ashlin Mathew

In a clear violation of Supreme Court rules and privacy concerns, matrimonial sites are selling love and marriage using Aadhaar verification. A relatively newer website, Love Vivaah, is promising to help a person find the ideal life partner from over one million Aadhaar-verified profiles.

‘Love Vivaah’ claims to be the only platform that ensures a five-point verification of all new registered profiles. In this ‘genuine’ matrimonial site, users are required to give their Aadhaar card or Voter Id or PAN Card or Passport verification, with the preference being Aadhaar details. They specify that without giving this information the person would not be able to register with them. ‘Love Vivaah’ states that they are technologically driven, but they have forgotten that they are violating both the Aadhaar and privacy judgement.

Even the recent Aadhaar Amendment Bill allows for the Aadhaar data to be voluntarily used only in case of banks and telecom companies.

The Supreme Court judgement in the Aadhaar case had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which allowed sharing of data with private entities. While striking it down, the Supreme court had stated Section 57 cannot be applied to permit commercial exploitation of the data of individuals or to affect their behavioural patterns. “Section 57 does not pass constitutional muster. It is manifestly arbitrary, suffers from over breadth and violates Article 14,” stated the Supreme Court.

All of this must be looked through the proportionality doctrine. The judgement in the Justice Puttuswamy vs Union of India case which concerns privacy, the ruling states “An invasion of life or personal liberty must meet the three-fold requirement of —legality, which postulates the existence of law; need, defined in terms of a legitimate state aim; and proportionality which ensures a rational nexus between the objects and the means adopted to achieve them.”

“Sharing your Aadhaar data involves a certain risk to one’s privacy. Proportionality implies that the risk to any fundamental rights is commensurate with the service being provided. If one were to apply this to ‘Love Vivaah’, then their use of Aadhaar data is illegal because it doesn't meet any of the proportionality conditions,” explains Raghu, who is a part of the Rethink Aadhaar campaign.

“Love Vivaah wants to use Aadhaar details for fraud detection but they will not agree that this data could be misused to actually create fraud. This data gets traded when the company gets acquired, merged or when they share this information with a third party to get background checks done on these people. It’s not that just because a person gives their Aadhaar number, the person is clean, they will need to do third party background checks to verify. This effectively means that the customer’s data will be given to third parties,” explains Srinivas Kodali, an independent researcher working on Aadhaar.

This information could be used in multiple ways. This is a marriage website, hence travel companies, jewellery firms or even life insurance companies could target you for everything related to the couple for and after marriage.

That is not all. Such websites are easy to hack using simple querying tools available online and once Aadhaar details are obtained, it is easy to find mobile numbers. We have seen countless times how the Aadhaar data can be used in phishing scams. They would call people posing as someone from the bank, UIDAI or any other office in order to get details and also the OTP,” explains Kodali.

Underscoring the illegality, Kodali points out that even though the use of such data is illegal, UIDAI and the government will not act on it because of the revenue they are expecting to get by selling such data.”

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