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How to Unlink Your Aadhaar from various Service Providers

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The latest ruling of Supreme Court on Aadhaar states that several services don’t require the authentication of Aadhaar-based e-KYC. Read on to know what needs to be linked, what does not…

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid by a majority judgement. However, taking care of the concerns of privacy and data security, the Supreme Court also listed out a number of services where linking of Aadhaar is not mandatory. The Supreme court also asked the government of India not to give access to Aadhaar data to private firms.

This means that users will not be mandated to submit their Aadhaar ID to open new bank accounts or to issue new SIMs. The Supreme Court ruling also states that a person has the rights over their data and it should not be stored without consent.

This is indeed a relief to many people in India, because various institutions like banks, telecom operators, mobile wallets and other agencies had started asking for Aadhaar as a legal document to verify the user.

Below are some of the highlights of the Supreme Court’s verdict:

* The SC said Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for openings of a bank account and for getting mobile connections.

* The SC has made linking of Aadhaar and PAN mandatory. The apex court also made Aadhaar mandatory for filing of Income Tax Return (ITR).

* Private companies can’t ask for Aadhaar.

Delinking Aadhaar from Various Services
Prior to the latest ruling of Supreme Court on Aadhaar — ironically — crores of people had already linked their biometric details to banks and telecom service providers through e-KYC or c-KYC process before the Supreme Court ruling came. Some of them may be wondering if they can delink their Aadhaar number from bank accounts or mobile phone numbers.

According to the “Compendium of Regulations, Circulars and Guidelines” for authentication of Aadhaar-based e-KYC, available on the official website of UIADI (Unique Identification Authority of India), an Aadhaar number holder is entitled to delink his biometric details shared with any authorised agency or service provider.

The compendium says, “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.”

This means an Aadhaar card holder is legally allowed to delink her biometric identification details from bank accounts and mobile phone numbers.

Aadhaar delinking can be done by submitting an application to the branch of the bank where the customer has an account stating the reason for revoking her consent. A similar application can be submitted to concerned telecom operator for Aadhaar delinking.

The Road Ahead
As the various mobile service providers have been heavily relying on eKYC via Aadhaar for getting new users on board, it will now be interesting to see how mobile service providers like Airtel, Reliance Jio, and other players manages this situation.

A lot of people are also 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. Currently, none of the mobile wallets give you an option to delink Aadhaar but hopefully that’ll change in the coming weeks.

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