The Supreme Court on Wednesday will pass its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the government’s biometric identification scheme. A Constitution Bench of the top court had reserved its judgement in the case on May 10 after a hearing that lasted 38 sessions.

One of the main points of contention is whether Aadhaar violates the fundamental right to privacy, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2017. There are also concerns about the system’s safety features.

The Tribune newspaper had published a report which said vendors were selling Aadhaar data through WhatsApp for as little as Rs 500. On September 11, the HuffPost India news wesbite reported that a software hack that can bypass some critical security features of the Aadhaar enrolment platform is available on WhatsApp groups for as little as Rs 2,500. The Unique Identification Authority of India has dismissed the report as “completely incorrect and baseless”.

Here are some pieces published on on the Aadhaar controversy:

  1. When Aadhaar makes your hard-earned money disappear down a rabbit hole: Instead of ending corruption, Aadhaar-linked bank payments are causing grief for many residents of Chhattisgarh’s Dhamtari district.
  2. Aadhaar authority wants to monitor social media to identify ‘top detractors’ and fix ‘sentiments’: After I&B ministry, now Aadhaar authority wants to watch your social media conversations.
  3. To understand Aadhaar’s threat to democracy, listen to Snoopgate tapes: The tapes are of conversations between Amit Shah and a police office and revolve around the surveillance of a woman, allegedly at the behest of Narendra Modi.
  4. A girl died crying for food. Her family is now accused of shaming India: Koili Devi lost her daughter to hunger after failing to link her ration card to Aadhaar. A social boycott has added to her trauma.
  5. NITI Aayog plan for Aadhaar-linked digital health records raises concerns over safety and privacy: The National Health Stack is designed for the use of both government and private entities like medical technology and insurance firms.  
  6. India’s police want access to Aadhaar data even as its constitutional validity remains unclear: Police forces across India have been trying to use Aadhaar for solving criminal cases and identifying dead bodies.
  7. Under the right to information law, Aadhaar data breaches will remain a state secret:’s queries for information were dismissed on grounds of national security and confidentiality.
  8. The draft data protection bill is a step forward – but nowhere close to what India needs: The committee’s report is the most comprehensive undertaking of data protection yet, but still falls short.  
  9. With Virtual ID, UIDAI admits what it has been denying, that leaked Aadhaar numbers are a problem: The new process will allow people to be authenticated without sharing their Aadhaar number.
  10. Haryana is making babies enrol in Aadhaar before it will issue them birth certificates: Even though the state government denies that the identity number is mandatory to obtain this document, officials on the ground admit that it virtually is.