The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said that the unique Health IDs mentioned on vaccination certificates, were created after taking their consent.
However, many Twitter users tweeted that they were surprised to see Health IDs generated on their vaccine certificates.
This ID will contain all health data of the individual and there are concerns as it could infiltrate a person's privacy without their consent. Although the records can only be accessed after the beneficiary shares their ID, many people are not comfortable with their data being collected without their knowledge.
The Unique Health ID (UHID) is an initiative under the National Digital Health Mission which plans to digitalise health records for providing better health services.
In a written response in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State Dr. Bharati Pawar shared that there is a provision to issue Unique Health IDs (UHIDs) through COVID-19 vaccination certificates via Co-WIN for those vaccinated beneficiaries who have provided Aadhaar as their prescribed Photo ID document during verification prior to vaccination.
The response later added that this facility was provisional and optional and not mandatory.
For generating a UHID, the beneficiary needs to be authenticated through any of the means for Aadhar authentication (OTP, demographic, biometric) at the time of verification at the vaccination centre, the response adds.
'UHID Consent Is A Part Of Vaccinator Module'
All India Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal, Md Nadimal Haque asked whether the Government has taken consent from the beneficiaries to create the IDs and store their data.
In vague terms, Dr. Pawar shared that the consent was sought from the beneficiary in the vaccinator module of CoWin.
The consent statement reads,
"I, hereby declare that I am voluntarily sharing my Aadhaar Number / Virtual ID issued by UIDAI, with National Health Authority (NHA) for the sole purpose of creation of Health ID. I understand my Health ID can be used in any healthcare interaction across India.
I authorize NHA to use my Aadhaar number / Virtual ID for performing Aadhaar based authentication with UIDAI and store my e-KYC (Name, Address, Age, Date of Birth, Gender and Photograph) information as per the provisions of Aadhaar Act, 2016 only for the stated purpose. I understand that UIDAI will share my e-KYC details with NHA on successful authentication.
I have been duly informed about the option of KYC without using my Aadhaar details and through use of other Govt. issued IDs and its associated details shall be stored by NHA for the purpose of creation of Health ID.
I consciously choose to use Aadhaar number / Virtual ID for the purpose of availing benefits across National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE). I am aware that my e-KYC information excluding Aadhaar number / VID number will be made available to the entities working in the NDHM framework for enabling the healthcare services to me across National Digital Health Ecosystem(NDHE). I reserve the right to revoke the given consent at any point of time from National Health Authority (NHA) at my own discretion."
Where Is This Consent Statement?
BOOM found that the CoWin mentions the Health ID in its Dos and Don'ts.
At the top-right corner on the website, a drop down table contains links to platforms, resources and support for further information. The resources section contains some list of Dos and Don'ts.
The seventh point in this list says that if the person wishes to receive their Health ID during registration at the vaccine, they should consent for it.
Even though this is a part of the list, beneficiaries stated that they were not informed about the Health ID nor consent sought from them.
Citizens Express Shock At UHID Generation
Many citizens took to Twitter to share that their Health IDs were generated without their consent.
An advertising professional also shared that his UHID was created without his consent.
Another Twitter user shared how to delete the UHID if it was created without one's consent.
Updated On: 2021-12-02T00:25:47+05:30