Airports guarantee voluntary and consensual Digi Yatra registration: Scindia

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Digi Yatra Registration must be Voluntary: Aviation Minister

India’s Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has reinforced that the registration for Digi Yatra, an initiative for digital processing of passengers at airports, is to be kept “completely voluntary.” His communication followed a response to a letter from Saket Gokhale, MP TMC, which highlighted complaints from passengers.

Biometrics Collection, to be Optional

The Minister clarified to airport operators that they should ensure the ‘Digi Buddies’ are aware of the ‘consent taking process’ for Digi Yatra registration. Digi Buddies are airport personnel hired to assist travellers in enrolling for Digi Yatra. This was in reply to complaints made by air travellers, which reached Trinamool Congress MP, Saket Gokhale, alleging that the biometrics process is happening without their direct consent or knowledge.

Consent to Data Collection, a Must

Scindia further emphasized that travellers’ consent is necessary for facial biometric data collection at the time of enrolment. He also assured that such data is obliterated from the airport systems within 24 hours of the flight’s departure.

About Digi Yatra Initiative

The Digi Yatra scheme, which operates presently at 13 airports nationwide, functions through a mobile application. Passengers register on the app with the help of their Aadhaar and a selfie, post which they can use their face as a boarding pass at various checkpoints at the airport.

Digi Yatra: Privacy Concerns

Several questions and concerns have risen concerning safeguards protecting privacy under the Digi Yatra scheme. Doubts about the policy, which permits access to passenger data to any security or government agency, have also been raised. Furthermore, the ability to alter data purge settings relying on “security requirements” and potential loopholes leading to third-party data acquisition has added to these concerns.

Digi Yatra for International Travel

The Aviation Minister led an advisory group meeting with numerous airports earlier this week. The focus of the meeting was strategic discussion on implementing Digi Yatra for international air travel.

Related Topics

  • Air Transport
  • Personal Data Collection
  • Data Protection

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