Government’s DigiYatra Raises Data Privacy Concerns Among Flyers

Despite privacy concerns, the Indian government is pushing DigiYatra adoption with potential questionable methods.

By Sunil Sonkar
2 Min Read
Government's DigiYatra Raises Data Privacy Concerns Among Flyers 1

A rising number of air travelers in India are becoming wary of the DigiYatra app, designed to ease entry into airports. The app wants to make getting into airports faster and without paper, but people are not sure about it because they worry about their privacy.


Many passengers are not even aware of the DigiYatra app, and those who are, often hesitate to use it. Privacy apprehensions arise from sharing biometric data and travel plans with a private entity managing the app. Even though people are worried, the Indian government is pushing for more people to use it. Some reports say they are using tricky methods to make more people sign up.

According to a media report, security and personal staff at airport entry gates are capturing facial and other personal details of passengers without their consent and enrolling them into DigiYatra. Passengers, during routine ID checks at the gate, are unknowingly having their details fed into the DigiYatra system.

Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), an Indian organization covering tech and policy, criticized the government’s methods, stating, “No informed consent.” The organization highlighted instances where passengers’ facial biometrics were recorded without permission to boost DigiYatra enrollments.

DigiYatra, launched to streamline airport entry and security, allows users to share travel details with authorities for expedited security clearances. Despite its convenience, many travelers remain hesitant due to data privacy concerns and reservations about sharing travel plans with a private entity.

Managed by the “Digi Yatra Foundation,” a non -profit entity, the app’s shareholding includes Airport Authority of India and several major international airports. Internet Freedom Foundation has been consistently critical of DigiYatra, citing coercive and deceptive methods of enrollment.

Instances of airport and security staff actively guiding passengers towards DigiYatra have been reported. In one case, a passenger faced pressure to use DigiYatra, and despite declining initially, was eventually enrolled without consent at the verification counter.

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