UIDAI allows Airtel to resume Aadhaar-based e-KYC till 31 March

Joanna Estrada
January 13, 2018

The criticism and anger increased after The Tribune published a stunning report wherein they were able to 'purchase' sensitive Aadhaar details of crores of citizens, for just Rs 500.

VID can be generated only by the Aadhaar number holder. It means that a 16-digit temporary number will be used instead of the Aadhaar number. For one, the fact that UIDAI has introduced virtual ID is in itself as candid an admission of Aadhaar's severe security flaws, exposed by global tech expert Troy Hunt in a recent lengthy write-up.

But how does the UIDAI claim that this VID would work? The VID's last digit is the checksum that uses Verhoeff algorithm similar to the Aadhaar number.

It added that while it is important to ensure that Aadhaar number holders can use their identity information to avail products and services, the collection and storage of Aadhaar numbers by various entities had heightened privacy concerns.

The UIDAI has also introduced Limited KYC (Know Your Customer) and UID Tokens, in an attempt to assuage privacy and security concerns about the misuse of Aadhaar numbers.

Sadly, it's also riled up the agency into investigating the matter in a manner that can be described as clumsy at best, and nefarious at worst: it's, accusing the journalist and the paper of a number of offences, including cheating by impersonation, and forgery. Local AUAs will only have access to limited KYC details and be prohibited from storing Aadhaar numbers. Hence, UIDAI believes the Aadhaar users will not have to share their 12-digit number for authentication purposes. In order to tell the masses that their personal information is safe, secure and can not be breached, the UIDAI introduced Virtual IDs. Subsequently, UIDAI temporarily barred Airtel and its payments bank service from using Aadhaar to verify users. Here's a Guide to Track Its Usage History! For mobile users who haven't registered their mobile numbers with the UIDAI database, can only complete the process by visiting the service provider's store. The UIDAI website will generate a 16-digit temporary Virtual ID. Although whether the latest initiative from UIDAI fixes Aadhaar problems or not is something that will be clear only when more details of the virtual Aadhaar ID are revealed. These options will be seen in the UIDAI portal itself along with Aadhaar Enrollment Center and mAaadhaar mobile application among others.

Despite the government's attempts, critics have seemingly raised some rather valid concerns. Companies have until June 1 to fully migrate to the new system.

Those agencies that fail to comply with these directives may be barred from carrying out any authentication services or suffer financial penalties. Still, it's the biggest overhaul of the system - known as Aadhaar - since it was introduced in 2010.

"The virtual id is to be used only for local AUAs".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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