UIDAI Introduces Aadhaar Virtual ID and Limited KYC

UIDAI Introduces Aadhaar Virtual ID and Limited KYC

Till now, Aadhaar number was necessary for verification or e-KYC for using various benefits and services from banks, telcos and other service providers.

According to the report, 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.

Nandan Nilekani, former chairperson of the Unique Identification Authority of India, on Wednesday said there was an "orchestrated campaign" to malign the Centre's Aadhaar system, PTI reported.

From June 1, 2018 it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from their users. For an authentication request by agencies, UIDAI will send a UID Token, which is a specific number that will remain the same for a specific agency but will be different for different entities. It thus "allows an agency to ensure uniqueness of its beneficiaries, customers etc. without having to store the Aadhaar number in their databases while not being able to merge databases across agencies thus enhancing privacy substantially", as a recent UIDAI circular pointed out.

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

This was done to address privacy concerns after a news report claimed a breach in the Aadhaar database.

Further referring to FIR filed in the Tribune case, he said negative views on Aadhaar will have negative reactions and hence, it would be better for people to have a constructive view on it. At the time of generating the Virtual ID, people will also have an option for defining the validity period of the Virtual ID.

What is Virtual ID (VID)? "But services of 'global AUAs" will not be accessible through VID - for instance, you will have to provide your Aadhaar ID for a passport.

"They should re-issue the compromised Aadhaar IDs and revoke the existing KYCs", he says.

This will discourage the collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies. The current deadline for linking Aadhaar with multiple utilities is March 31.

Finally, some critics suggest that the new system does not adequately address the real problem, which is the inability of various government and private agencies to protect our data. However, the opposition has equated the exercise to "locking the stable after horses have bolted".

Moreover, what about the Aadhaar numbers already leaked through portal access sales, which had given out the "unique" Aadhaar numbers to those with nefarious intentions, thereby exposing them to threats even in the future. The hurry with which it was turned into a national ID system for over a billion Indians is now evident, with a new issue staring at UIDAI's face every day.

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