Parivar Pehchan Patra and Privacy Concerns | 06 Feb 2021

Why in News

Recently, there has been a privacy concern with respect to Haryana's Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) Scheme.

  • Although enrollment under the scheme is voluntary, but the precondition of linking it to get the benefit of many essential services has raised serious concerns about the scheme.

Key Points

  • Current Issue:
    • Contradictory Position: Although the enrollment under the PPP is voluntary, but in case a citizen or a family wishes to apply for a service delivered by the Haryana government, the PPP ID would be required, which leaves very little choice before the residents.
    • Data Abuse: In the absence of privacy laws in India, or any indication of data protection Standard Operating Procedures being followed for this exercise, there is strong possibility of potential abuse of the data collected under the PPP.
      • Moreover, a lot of data which is being sought is well above and beyond what is required for the delivery of a particular service.
  • Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) Scheme:
    • Background: PPP scheme was formally launched in July 2019 to achieve Haryana government’s vision for ‘paperless’ and ‘faceless’ delivery of schemes, services and benefits offered by the state government.
      • Under this, each family is considered a single unit and gets an 8-digit unique identification number, called family ID.
      • Family IDs are also linked to independent schemes like scholarships, subsidies and pensions, so as to ensure consistency and reliability.
      • It also enables automatic selection of beneficiaries of various schemes, subsidies and pensions.
    • Objective: The primary objective of Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) is to create authentic, verified and reliable data of all families in Haryana.
  • Benefits of PPP:
    • Family as a Unit: Union government’s Aadhaar card contains individual’s details and does not cater to the entire family as a unit.
      • Although the ration card system is there, it is not updated and does not contain adequate family records.
    • Smooth Service Delivery: Government services and schemes such as social security pensions, ration cards and birth, death, caste and income certificates etc. are being delivered by various departments of the Haryana government through PPP.
    • Beneficial for Migrant Workers: Registration IDs are provided to those who live in Haryana but have not completed residency requirements.
      • This enables the State government to provide benefits such as rations from fair price shops, benefits of labour schemes, street vendors’ support schemes, etc.

PPP vs Aadhaar

  • While Aadhaar represents an individual as a unit, a PPP represents a family as a unit and this is where PPP is important because, most of our government schemes are structured around the family, not around an individual.
    • For example, ration eligibility is there for the family but the family can split it into various members as long as they are above 18 years and say they are separating entitlements for all individuals.

Way Forward

  • The PPP may also be linked to property records in the government database of lands and properties to prevent fraudulent transactions and clarify ownership.
  • Besides, the government should start a mass campaign to make people aware about the schemes and its benefits.
  • Government should also introduce measures to strengthen the security of data being collected under the Parivar Pehchan Patra (PPP) scheme.