The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday has struck down compulsory linking of mobile phone numbers to Aadhaar. In India, customers who had not got an Aadhaar number till now, and were required to submit one in order to get a new mobile connection or continue their current mobile connection, will see this verdict as a relief.
With the Supreme Court verdict, telecom service providers like Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone and others can no longer force users to link their Aadhaar card to their current mobile number. It also means that not linking Aadhaar to mobile phone numbers will no longer result in telecom services being stopped for the customer as was being feared so far.
Additionally, the Supreme Court of India also declared that Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act as ‘unconstitutional’ and struck it down. Section 57 of Aadhaar Act talked about how private companies could also access Aadhaar data.
This also means that digital wallets like Paytm or Amazon Pay Balance cannot demand Aadhaar data from customers in order to to do a verification and allow them to continue using the services.