Aadhaar Cards in India. Photo courtesy: UIDAI
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) claimed today that Aadhaar data was neither breached nor leaked from the government websites.
With an official statement, UIDAI was responding to a news report that said “210 Government sites made Aadhaar info public.”
The UIDAI statement clarified that the news report is a skewed presentation of the facts and poses as if the Aadhaar data is breached or leaked which is not the true presentation. The statement added that the Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.
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.
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UIDAI said that the said data on these websites was placed in public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure under RTI Act by these government and institutional websites which included beneficiaries’ name, address, bank account, and other details including Aadhaar number and was collected from the third party/users for various welfare schemes.
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It was this collected info which had been displayed in the public domain under RTI Act. There was no breach or leakage of Aadhaar data from UIDAI database or server as has been aired by the said report, UIDAI claimed.
UIDAI said that acting promptly on this, UIDAI and Ministry of Electronics & IT had directed the concerned Government departments / ministries to immediately remove it from their websites and ensure that such violation does not occur in future.
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UIDAI stated that Aadhaar numbers which were made public on the said websites do not pose any real threat to the people as biometric information is never shared and is fully secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics.
UIDAI clarified that Aadhaar number is not a secret number. It is to be shared with authorized agencies when an Aadhaar holder wishes to avail a certain service or benefit of government welfare schemes or other services. But that does not mean that the proper use of Aadhaar number poses a security or financial threat, UIDAI said.
Moreover, according to UIDAI, its security system has people’s participatory security system like Biometric Lock facility available at UIDAI portal which any Aadhaar holder can use to put their own lock on one’s biometric by visiting UIDAI’s official website.