According to Sharma the concept of data vault was fallacious and was adversely impacting the purpose of Aadhaar. Sharma was the first director general of UIDAI.
“Aadhaar Act says Aadhaar information should be safely kept. Aadhaar number is not an identity. It (data vault) is like putting all the numbers on the currency notes into some safe vault saying that these numbers will not be disclosed. This is a fallacious way. Once you start with a fallacious foundation then everything else becomes fallacious. You came up with the Aadhaar data vault,” Sharma said in his address at a programme organised by the UIDAI.
The UIDAI had recently introduced a concept of Aadhaar data vault which is a centralised storage for all the Aadhaar numbers collected by authorised agencies.
The objective of Aadhaar data vault is to reduce the footprint of Aadhaar numbers within the systems and environment of the organisation hence reduce the risk of unauthorised access.
Sharma said that then the UIDAI has come up with the concept that Aadhaar shall not be published which is fallacious. “I mean it’s my Aadhaar. Individual’s number does not belong to the government. I can publish it. How can somebody tell me that if I publish my Aadhaar number you will be jailed. This is another fallacy which has started happening,” Sharma said.
“In the name of privacy you should not kill the purpose. Privacy should not compromise functionality. We have unfortunately done it that way. Privacy can be exercised without compromising on full functionality,” he said.
Sharma said that the Supreme Court judgment has defined reasonable expectations of privacy and the judgment was followed by an amendment which allows voluntary use of Aadhaar to prove their identity.