EXCLUSIVE: Railways Publishes Aadhaar Numbers Of Mumbai Stampede Victims In Violation Of The Aadhaar Act
The Mumbai Division of the Western Railways has published the Aadhaar numbers, addresses and phone numbers of those injured in a stampede on Elphinstone bridge in Mumbai in September 2017, in response to a Right to Information (RTI) request.
This callous attitude to data security, and the absence of a robust data privacy law and data-handling regulations, is putting citizens at risk.
In this instance, this reporter filed an RTI asking for proof that the victims of the 2017 stampede had received their compensation. The reporter did not ask for Aadhaar numbers or sensitive demographic information, but the Railways provided the details anyway.
The inability to conceptualise data-security is so wide-spread that even well-intentioned state functionaries appear unaware of how personal information, particularly Aadhaar numbers paired with phone numbers, can be misused.