NEW DELHI: Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia has issued instructions to ensure that registration for the Application Program is completely voluntary.
The project currently underway at 13 airports aims to streamline passenger services through digital channels by using facial scans for various checkpoints. In a letter dated January 24, Minister Scindia addressed the concerns raised by TMC MP Saket Gokhale and advised the airport operators to make the registration process completely voluntary.
The letter also highlighted the importance of educating digi buddies, the airport staff who help passengers register, on the importance of obtaining consent in the process.
The Digi travel system includes a mobile app that enables passengers to use their Aadhaar and a selfie to register their names using their faces according to airline passes at airport checkpoints.
However, questions have been raised about privacy and security, as well as the introduction of a system that would allow security or government agencies to access passenger information.
Additionally, concerns were raised about the possible mechanisms that could lead to third parties accessing passenger data.
Minister Scindia acknowledged these concerns and stressed the importance of Digi buddies sensitivity to the consent process plant. The move is aimed at addressing fears about the misuse of passenger data and ensuring that participation in Digi Yatra remains entirely voluntary.
Additionally, recent revelations about Digi Yatra's policy of allowing flexibility in data correction policy based on "security requirements" have added fuel to the privacy debate with critics saying such a policy could break down protection of passenger data.
In a proactive response to growing concerns, Minister Scindia in this regard Convened an advisory group that met with various airport representatives earlier in the week. The session focused on discussing ways to use digi transportation for international travel, and addressing potential options with privacy considerations.
As the airline industry continues to embrace digital advancements, businesses are hearing when Digital Yatra balances it's easy and important to protect passenger privacy. Minister Scindia's recent directives underscore the government's commitment to address these issues and ensure passengers have the opportunity to voluntarily participate in such schemes.