Aadhaar Authority to Take Legal Action in Data Breach Case

Aadhaar Cards in India. Photo courtesy: UIDAI
Aadhaar Cards in India. Photo courtesy: UIDAI

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has denied the media report published in The Tribune titled “Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details.”

In an official statement released Thursday, UIDAI said that it is a case of misreporting, and claimed there has not been any Aadhaar data breach. The Aadhaar data including biometric information is fully safe and secure, the statement claimed.

The statement added that UIDAI has given the said search facility for the purpose of grievance redressal to the designated personnel and state government officials to help residents only by entering their Aadhaar number / EID.

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Earlier in November last year, it was reported that “210 Government sites made Aadhaar info public.” Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by UIDAI on behalf of the Government of India. This number serves as a proof of identity and address, anywhere in India.

UIDAI says it maintains complete log and traceability of the facility and any misuse can be traced and appropriate action taken. The reported case, according to UIDAI, appears to be an instance of misuse of the grievance redressal search facility.

As UIDAI maintains complete log and traceability of the facility, the legal action including lodging of FIR against the persons involved in the instant case is being done.

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UIDAI reiterates that the grievance redressal search facility gives only limited access to name and other details and has no access to biometric details.

UIDAI reassures that there has not been any data breach of biometric database which remains fully safe and secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics.

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Further, the Aadhaar number is not a secret number. It is to be shared with authorized agencies whenever an Aadhaar holder wishes to avail certain service or benefit of government welfare scheme/s or other services.

But that does not mean that the proper use of Aadhaar number poses a security or financial threat, UIDAI said. Also, mere availability of Aadhaar number will not be a security threat or will not lead to financial or other fraud, as for a successful authentication fingerprint or iris of individual is also required.

Claims of bypassing or duping the Aadhaar enrollment system are totally unfounded, UIDAI said in its statement.

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Rakesh Raman