The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday, 26 September, announced that private entities cannot demand that Aadhaar be linked with various accounts.
This means that users will not be mandated to submit their Aadhaar ID to open new bank accounts or to issue new SIMs. The ruling also states that a person has the rights over their data and it should not be stored without consent.
This comes as a relief to many people in the country, because various institutions like banks, telecom operators, mobile wallets and even courier agencies had started asking for Aadhaar as a legal document to verify the user.
Can You Delink From Aadhaar?
According to the Compendium of Regulations, Circulars and Guidelines for authentication of Aadhaar-based e-KYC, available on the official website of UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), anybody with an Aadhaar number can ask to delink his/her biometric details that has been shared with any authorised agency or service provider.
The Aadhaar number holder may, at any time, revoke consent given to a KUA for storing his e-KYC data or for sharing it with third parties, and upon such revocation, the KUA shall delete the e-KYC data and cease any further sharing.Guidelines for authentication of Aadhaar-based e-KYC
So how does one go about delinking their accounts? According to this report, the user can submit a written application to their bank or telecom operator asking them to remove biometric Aadhaar details from their account.
It’ll be interesting to see how Reliance Jio manages this situation. After all, this telco has been heavily relying on eKYC via Aadhaar for getting new users on board.
When we reached out to customer care services of telcos, they said that clarity on delinking Aadhaar will take a few days to materialise.
What About Mobile Wallets?
A lot of people are eager to start the process of de-linking Aadhaar from payment wallets as well. The Aadhaar feature had recently become unavailable in wallets like Paytm and PhonePe, and others like MobiKwik are likely to remove the option in the coming days.
As of now, none of the mobile wallets give you an option to delink Aadhaar but hopefully that’ll change in the coming weeks. The Quint has reached out to Paytm to understand how it plans to help its users delink Aadhaar accounts and will update this story when they reply.
This judgment throws a spanner in the works for payment wallets, who had invested on agents to help users get their e-KYC done. They have even tied up with third-party companies who were enabling door-step eKYC of users who weren’t keen on going to a store to get it done.