Govt to consider all privacy issues before setting up NATGRID
The ambitious Union Home Ministry project NATGRID, work for which is going on in full swing, will undergo independent audit by the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
New Delhi: The ambitious Union Home Ministry
project NATGRID, work for which is going on in full swing,
will undergo independent audit by the Cabinet Committee on
Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Official sources said the move to have an independent
audit was taken by the government to prevent any misuse of
inter-linked data or any privacy issues that might arise.
The project, which will help law enforcement and spy
agencies to get quick access to desired information by
integrating present data with various departments, is likely
to be operational by mid next year.
"The NATRGRID will have independent audit by the Cabinet
Committee on Security. To enter the data, one needs to have an
authorisation code," sources in the Union Home Ministry said.
They said fears expressed on issues related to privacy
raised by certain stakeholders initially have been addressed
and work is on.
Certain stakeholders had raised the issue of privacy as
agencies will be able to get all information about a person
from his pan cards to his bank account details and credit card
transactions at the click of a button. Questions were also
raised on possible misuse of the inter-linked data.
"All these data is already available with various
government departments. What is being done is to integrate all
the data so that one can easily gather information about a
suspect. We are not collecting any new data from the people.
We are just making the system more responsive," sources
They said NATGRID will also track the footprint of every
person who enters the data. "So, we will know who has gone
into what account and for what purpose."
The Home Ministry had appointed former head of Mahindra
Special Services Group Raghu Raman as Chief Executive Officer
of the NATGRID project.
Sources said the final list of all agencies that will be
covered under the project is yet to be fixed.
"The list of input agency or the user agency is a
floating concept. Some might be added or some might be dropped
as and when the project progresses and becomes operational,"
the source said.
As per the initial plan, access to the combined data will
be given to 11 agencies, which include carious central
intelligence agencies and the National Investigating Agency
The NATGRID will give access to about 21 categories of
database like railway and air travel, income tax, bank account
details, credit card transactions, visa and immigration
records in the country.
The NATGRID is expected to facilitate robust information
sharing by security agencies and law enforcement agencies to
combat terror threat at home and abroad.