Red Faced, UIDAI Introduces New Virtual ID To Address Aadhaar Privacy Concerns

New Security Layer Is Like Locking The Stable After Horses Have Bolted' Chidambaram On Aadhaar's New'Virtual ID Feature

Commenting on the matter, the UIDAI also said that the Virtual IDs will reduce the collection of Aadhaar numbers by different government agencies. Apart from the Virtual ID, it has also introduced another "Limited KYC" feature.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist also pointed out that petitions against Aadhaar had been pending before the Supreme Court for the past five years.

What is Virtual ID (VID)?

"We can confirm that the UIDAI had permitted Bharti Airtel to continue Aadhaar based e-KYC till March 31, 2018, subject to compliance to guidelines laid down by the authority", a Bharti Airtel spokesman said in a written response to ET's queries Thursday.

Where to get the VID? . The VID can be used for authentication instead of the actual 12-digit Aadhaar number. From June 1 use of Virtual ID for authentication would be mandatory. VIDs will self destruct after the valid time period expires. "Authentication may be performed using the Virtual ID in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number", a UIDAI circular said. The move comes in as UIDAI expects that it will ensure that no one, except the holder, can access the person's Aadhaar number. However, his tweet, showing an image of his Aadhaar card, still carried the QR code that was enough for those with basic tech expertise to decode his demographic details, his bank account numbers, and other sensitive information.

"UIDAI will provide various options to Aadhaar number holders to generate their VID, retrieve their VID in case they forget, and replace their VID with a new number".

Agencies that do not migrate to the new system to offer this additional option to their users by the stipulated deadline will face financial disincentives.

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

UIDAI will categorize all AUAs into two categories - "Global AUAs" and "Local AUAs". Later, the same was claimed to be false and it was claimed that the Aadhaar details are secure. A wide range and number of private entities are using Aadhaar to verify identity of their customers.

Delhi Police registered the FIR on a complaint by an UIDAI official following the newspaper report on data breach of more than 1 billion Aadhaar cards. Both Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank had come under fire after the Sunil Mittal-led firm allegedly opened accounts of its mobile phone subscribers without seeking their "informed consent", and LPG subsidies worth crores were deposited into them. New security layer is like locking the stable after horses have bolted.

The Aadhaar debate just doesn't seem to settle anytime soon.

The report shows how Nilekani's personal information is still available online, and that the man steering the UIDAI ship was himself unaware of the huge breach of his own confidential information that had occurred when he posted the picture of his Aadhaar card, with the QR code intact. Moreover, the survey, which had received over 15,000 votes, revealed that the public supports restricted access to biometric data.

Only name, photograph and address of the person can be accessed via this Virtual ID. The limited KYC system along with the Virtual ID might go a long way in allaying the nation's doubts.

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