India’s highest court defends data privacy

India’s Supreme Court recently issued a holding that increases the data privacy protection that businesses operating in India must provide.

  • The holding strikes down the portion of Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that had previously allowed businesses to require national ID numbers, known as Aadhaar numbers, for “any purpose.”
  • The industries most impacted by this ruling will likely be banking, e-commerce and fintech industries because the Aadhar numbers helped those companies comply with India’s Know Your Customer (KYC) law.
  • The holding left unclear the fate of legacy data which had been linked to Aadhar numbers, though it seems likely that companies will be required to provide a streamlined process for residents to delink their Aadhaar numbers with their account.

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