January 20, 2018

New security shield for Aadhaar meaningless: Chidambaram

13 January 2018, 03:25 | Taylor George

UIDAI: Introduces New 'Virtual ID' to Secure Aadhaar Data Privacy: 10 Key Points

You don't need to share your Aadhaar number with anyone: Official

"The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday introduced "Virtual ID" (VID) to safeguard Aadhaar cardholders" data.

Instead, a random 16-digit Virtual ID number could be generated and used in lieu of Aadhaar with authorised agencies like banks and telecom service providers.

The citizens will also have the choice for the reverse - which is to not generate their virtual IDs and continue using their Aadhaar numbers each time. "The UIDAI is trying to rectify technical breach by its untested technology", said one of the petitioners who are fighting a case against Aadhaar in the Supreme Court, NDTV reported. DoT had also asked them to provide an IVR based alternative which, however, would have required that the user's mobile number be pre-linked to their Aadhaar in UIDAI's data base.

This 16-digit number can be provided by people for various services like railway counters, airlines, instead of revealing their Aadhaar number and confirm the person's birthday.

This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.

UIDAI will categorize all AUAs into two categories - "Global AUAs" and "Local AUAs". All of these service providers will have to advance their systems to compulsorily allow for the new instrument from June.

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"The last digit of the VID is the checksum using "Verhoeff" algorithm as in Aadhaar number".

As per the UIDAI, agencies that undertake authentication would not be allowed to generate the Virtual ID on behalf of Aadhaar holder.

However, people would have to wait until March 1 as the UIDAI would be releasing necessary applications for its implementation by that day, the circular said. It is easier to read off a 12-digit number off a card than remember a 16-digit temporary code. Any non-compliance will invite action in the form of financial disincentives and termination of the said Agreement.

Delhi Police had on Monday registered the FIR on a complaint by an UIDAI official following the newspaper report on data breach of more than 1 billion Aadhaar cards, naming the journalist behind the story. For Rs. 500 or around US$8.

Bharti Airtel did not comment on UIDAI's order pertaining to its payments banking arm, but one of the persons cited above said "status quo had been maintained" in so far as Airtel Payment Bank goes.

A short while earlier, there had been allegations that leading Indian telco, Airtel had usedAadhaar details to establish e-KYC credentials of users and open their accounts on Airtel Payments Bank without their consent.

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