Tamil Nadu's plan to link Aadhar and electricity card need data protection: experttext_fields
The Tamil Nadu government has made it compulsory to link Aadhar cards with Electricity Board cards. A large number of people have been approaching the special camps set up at the TANGEDCO section offices.
State Electricity Minister V Senthil Balaji said the new move will not affect subsidies that are already available. "People will enjoy cost-free electricity for the first 100 units. The subsidies for the farmers, handloom, and power loom weavers will continue without any issue." He added that free electricity for thatched houses will continue.
The government claims that the new method will reduce the illegal consumption of electricity. "We will regulate the connections by identifying the people who got connections for domestic purposes but are using them for commercial needs. If we cannot regulate it then we cannot develop it and then TNEB will be at a loss forever. TANGEDCO has caused a Rs 1.5 lakh crore loss, and the Tamil Nadu government paid interest of Rs 16,511 crores for a period of 12 months."
The TN government is setting up a State Family Database (SFDB) in an attempt to strengthen data-centric governance.
However, many experts are concerned about the risk of data breaches.
Srikanth L of Cashless Consumer, a consumer awareness collective, told The News Minute that the EB-Aadhaar linking can act as an indirect record of property ownership hitherto unavailable with the state government. Privacy activists say such profiles can turn into state surveillance tools and lead to serious violations. The data can also be compromised and misused by political parties and corporate entities.
Srikanth pointed out past instances like the Tamil Nadu public distribution system (TNPDS) data breach and data collected by the Andhra Pradesh government under the Praja Sadhikara Survey being compromised. He added that the DMK government must enact a data protection law before deeming the new system essential for implementing subsidies and schemes.