Privacy is about trust between govt, people: Niti Aayog VC

13-09-2017
DH

"You got to focus on mistrust between the government and people. This is core of all debates that are going on about privacy. I have got no privacy left ever since I got mastercard. I get calls from telecallers who know what I buy. "If we have any illusions about privacy, stop doing now" Kumar said.

The Vice Chairman of the government think tank was speaking at a panel discussion here on various aspects of financial inclusion which cover the JAM trinity -- the linkage of Jan Dhan bank accounts, Aadhaar ID and mobile phone numbers. The comments come amid various petitions having been filed in the apex court challenging the government’s move making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.

The issue got accentuated after the Supreme Court last month declared right to privacy a fundamental right, a far- reaching verdict that could impact a range of life choices of Indians, including food habits and sexual orientation. Kumar said that financial inclusion has been with us for a long time, but till current government took charge in 2014, 70 per cent of our population was unbanked.

"The financial inclusion will help in increasing household savings," Kumar said, adding that digital push and financial inclusion is what India needs to be at the frontiers of technology. SBI deputy managing director Manju Agarwal said if people can have trust social media sites like facebook, whatsapp and Google, they should trust the government on data privacy. "Each of one in this room is on facebook, whatsapp and Google. Trust me you are followed every second by these social media sites. Anybody who is concerned about privacy should not be on facebook, whatsapp and Google," Agarwal noted. She further added that digital payments will explode once smartphones reach the last mile customer.

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