Parliament passes Aadhaar bill, government to bring law on data protection
(PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan)

New Delhi: The Parliament on Monday passed a bill that will make the use of Aadhaar for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile phone connections voluntary.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Monday after a reply by Law, Communications, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who assured the members that the government will soon bring a comprehensive law on the data protection. The Aadhaar bill had earlier been passed by the Lok Sabha. "We will bring a comprehensive data protection law. Data sovereignty is integral to us and it will never be compromised," Prasad said.

The union minister said that the architecture of Aadhaar was not touched while making the amendments. Prasad also contended that people like Bill Gates and Thomas Friedman appreciate Aadhaar. The Bill seeks to amend the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The Bill also proposes giving a child an option to exit from the biometric ID facility on attaining 18 years of age.

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