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Govt tables bill to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar for SIMs, bank a/c

Govt tables bill to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar for SIMs, bank a/c
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New Delhi: The government Wednesday introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that will allow individuals to voluntary offer biometric ID Aadhaar as a means of identity verification for obtaining services like opening a bank account and getting a mobile phone connection.

The bill, which seeks to amend three separate laws governing Aadhaar, telecom sector, and banking regulation, also gives a minor an option to opt out of the 12-digit identity scheme on attaining the age of 18 years.

It also provides for stiff penalties for violation of norms set for the use of Aadhaar.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2018, moved by Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the Lok Sabha, bans storing of core biometric information as well as Aadhaar number by service providers in cases of individuals who have voluntarily offered the national ID as a means of authentication.

It also makes it clear that anyone not offering Aadhaar cannot be denied any service, be it a bank account or a SIM card.

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 legislation proposes telecom service providers, apart from using Aadhaar for authentication, can also leverage offline verification, use of a passport, or any other officially valid document or modes of identification as notified by the central Government.

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