At a time when the government is battling criticism from political opponents and a section of civil society for making Aadhar ‘mandatory’ for availing benefits under welfare schemes, a promotional exercise involving former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned out to be quite an embarrassment for Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Information Technology minister at the Centre.
It so happened that an over enthusiastic agency involved with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to enroll citizens for Aadhar shared the personal details of the ace cricketer M S Dhoni on social media. The details shared included a photograph and a snapshot of the cricketer’s Aadhar enrolment form.
The Union minister was tagged in the tweet. It included a photograph of the cricketer with a CSC representative and another of his personal details on what appeared to be the Aadhaar website.
The agency's Common Services Center (CSC) has posted a tweet yesterday through its handle @CSCegov saying "Ace cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his family get their Aadhaar updated at VLE Mariya Farooqui's CSE at Ranchi, Jharkhand". The tweet with the details was later deleted.
It took MSD’s wife Sakshi Dhoni to point out that the information being presponded ut out in public domain amounts to a breach of privacy. It took a couple of exchanges between the two for Prasad to realise what Sakshi was trying to point out was correct.
While the minister has promised action and thanked the cricketer’s wife for pointing it out, here is a look at the conversation between Sakshi and Ravi Shankar Prasad:
“VLE of @CSCegov_ delivers #Aadhaar service to @msdhoni. Legendary cricketer's #Digital hook (shot),” Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted yesterday.
Sakshi responded to the tweet within an hour, pointing out that her husband MS Dhoni’s Aadhar details had been made public.
“@rsprasad @CSCegov_ is there any privacy left ??? Information of adhaar card including application is made public property!#disappointed,” she tweeted.
is there any privacy left ??? Information of adhaar card including application is made public property!#disappointed— Sakshi Singh 🇮🇳❤️ (@SaakshiSRawat) March 28, 2017
Prasad was quick to respond, saying that his tweet did not carry any personal information.
“@SaakshiSRawat No it is not a public property. Does this Tweet divulge any personal information?” he wrote.
No it is not a public property. Does this Tweet divulge any personal information?— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) March 28, 2017
Sakshi then informed Prasad that the personal information filled in the form had been leaked.
“@rsprasad Sir personal information filled in form is leaked !” Sakshi pointed out.
Sir personal information filled in form is leaked !— Sakshi Singh 🇮🇳❤️ (@SaakshiSRawat) March 28, 2017
She then followed it up explaining that it was the tweet by the agency involved with the Aadhar enrolment that had a photograph of M S Dhoni’s form, thereby divulging personal details.
“@rsprasad Sir I m talking about the application which was tweeted along with picture by @CSCegov_,” Sakshi wrote.
Ravi Shankar Prasad was quick to admit to the gaffe.
“@SaakshiSRawat Thanks for bringing this to my notice. Sharing personal information is illegal. Serious action will be taken against this” he wrote.
Thanks for bringing this to my notice. Sharing personal information is illegal. Serious action will be taken against this.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) March 28, 2017
Assured of action, Sakshi then thanked the minister.
“@rsprasad thank you Sir ! Appreciate your prompt reply !,” she wrote.
thank you Sir ! Appreciate your prompt reply !— Sakshi Singh 🇮🇳❤️ (@SaakshiSRawat) March 28, 2017
The matter ended amicably but has also highlighted the need for sensitizing people involved in the Aadhar enrolment exercise.