Telecom operators across the country will continue to link mobile numbers with Aadhaar numbers for e-KYC verification to ensure that all the details of the subscribers are valid. According to a report by MediaNama, Cellular Operators of India (COAI) issued the statement despite the judgment by Supreme Court regarding the Right to Privacy. COAI went on to add that the telecom operators will continue the practice till the time Department of Telecom issues instructions stating otherwise.
The statement pointed out that the judgment by the Supreme Court will not have any impact on the mandatory practices that have been laid down by the government. This statement comes days after a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court pronounced that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right on Thursday morning. The constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar ruled that "right to privacy is an intrinsic part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 and entire Part III of the Constitution."
The ruling was meant to deal with a batch of petitions that challenged the Centre's move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes. While the Centre said that the right to privacy wasn't a fundamental right, the petitioners contended that the commercial use of citizens' biometrics and personal data was a breach of privacy.