A 30-year-old who tried to apply for the post of a librarian with the Rajasthan government this July was shocked when the state’s information technology department asked for access to his Twitter, Facebook or Gmail accounts as a pre-condition for the application. If he did not wish to share his social media information, the government’s web portal for job applications—Rajasthan Single Sign On, or RSSO—said, he would have to provide both his Aadhaar number and the biometric data registered with the Unique Identification Authority of India.
Thinking it to be the least invasive option, he gave the department access to his Twitter account. The department asked him to authorise the state government to read his tweets, follow people on his behalf, update his profile, post tweets for him and see his email address. It stopped short of seeking access to his direct messages and twitter password.
RSSO is an online platform for Rajasthan’s citizens to be able to access the services of the state’s government departments, such as applying for jobs, paying water or electricity bills, filing RTI queries, seeking an arms licence and applying for admissions to universities, among others. For a total 87 such services offered by the RSSO, the portal seeks citizens’ personal data. One can register using one of five digital identities: through Aadhaar, Twitter, Facebook, Google or the Bhamashah account—a local digital identity provided by the state government, which is linked to the citizens’ bank accounts.