Privacy Gaps in India's Digital India Project

Posted by Anisha Gupta and Edited by Amber Sinha at Feb 21, 2017 01:55 AM |
This paper seeks to assess the privacy protections under 15 e-governance schemes: Soil Health Card, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS), Project Panchdeep, U-Dise, Electronic Health Records, NHRM Smart Card, MyGov, eDistricts, Mobile Seva, Digi Locker, eSign framework for Aadhaar, Passport Seva, PayGov, National Land Records Modernization Programme (NLRMP), and Aadhaar.

Introduction

The Central and State governments in India have been increasingly taking steps to fulfill the goal of a ‘Digital India’ by undertaking e-governance schemes. Numerous schemes have been introduced to digitize sectors such as agriculture, health, insurance, education, banking, police enforcement, etc. With the introduction of the e-Kranti program under the National e-Governance Plan, we have witnessed the introduction of forty four Mission Mode Projects.[1]

The digitization process is aimed at reducing the human handling of personal data and enhancing the decision making functions of the government. These schemes are postulated to make digital infrastructure available to every citizen, provide on demand governance and services and digital empowerment.[2]

In every scheme, personal information of citizens are collected in order to avail their welfare benefits. While the efforts of the government are commendable, the efficacy of these programs in the absence of sufficient infrastructure for security raises various concerns. Increased awareness among citizens and stronger security measures by the governments are necessary to combat the cogent threats to data privacy arising out of the increasing rate of cyberattacks.[3]

The schemes identified for the purpose of this paper have been introduced by the following government agencies:

S.No.SchemeGovernment Agency Involved
1 SOIL HEALTH CARD
A scheme designed to provide complete soil information to farmers.
Department of Agriculture Corporation (DACNET)
2 CRIME AND CRIMINAL NETWORK TRACKING & SYSTEMS (CCTNS)
A scheme that seeks to facilitate the functioning of the criminal system through online records, and has proposed data analysis for the purpose of trend setting, crime analysis, disaster and traffic management, etc.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
3 U-Dise
Serves as the official data repository for educational information.
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)
4 PROJECT PANCHDEEP
The use of Unified Information System for implementation of health insurance facilities under ESIC (Employee State Insurance
Corporation).
Ministry of Labour & Employment
5 ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
A scheme to digitally record all health data of a citizen from birth to death.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)
6 NHRM SMART CARD
Under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) Scheme, every beneficiary family is issued a biometric enabled smart card for providing health insurance to persons covered under the scheme.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)
7 MYGOV
An online platform for government and citizen interaction.
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY)
8 EDISTRICTS
Common Service Centres are being established under the scheme to provide multiple services to the citizens at a district level.
DeITY
9 MOBILE SEVA
A centralized mobile app, used to host various mobile applications.
DeITY
10 DIGILOCKER
A scheme that provides a secure dedicated personal electronic space for storing the documents.
DeITY
11 eSIGN FRAMEWORK FOR AADHAAR eSign is an online electronic signature service to facilitate an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document. Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology
12 PAYGOV
A centralized platform for all citizen to government payments.
DeITY and NSDL Database Management Limited (NDML)
13 PASSPORT SEVA
An online scheme for passport application and documentation.
Ministry of External Affairs
14 NATIONAL LAND RECORDS MODERNIZATION PROGRAM (NLRMP)
The scheme seeks to modernize land records system through digitization and computerization of land records.
DeITY and NDML
15 AADHAAR
A scheme for unique identification of citizens for the purpose of targeted delivery of welfare benefits.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

Read the full paper


[1]. Introduction to Digital India, available at http://www.governancenow.com/ news/regular-story/securing-digital-india

[2]. Id.

[3]. GN Bureau, Securing Digital India, Governance Now (June 11, 2016) available at http://www.governancenow.com/news/regular-story/securing-digitalindia

Document Actions