Virtual Aadhaar ID: How Will It Work?
The UIDAI had yesterday introduced the concept of "Virtual ID", which an Aadhaar card holder can generate from its website and give out for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.
Under the new system, at the user-end, the Aadhaar holder will have the choice not to share their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.
Virtual IDs (VID) is a 16-digit code that can mask one's Aadhaar number for a temporary period was introduced.
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Officials said a user can generate as many Virtual IDs as he or she wants. Though the Aadhaar matter comes up for hearing before a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on January 17, the two pieces of news, related in a way, tell us what's the stance of the UIDAI is going to be despite mounting evidence of Aadhaar's shaky, leaky structure.
The second safety net is a "limited KYC" mechanism that will regulate how different agencies, such as banks or telecom companies, store Aadhaar details in their databases.
"Aadhaar commenced to enable RESIDENTS of India to access basic services thru an identity".
The security layer by UIDAI came in after a report in The Tribune alleged that whole of the Aadhaar data can be accessed through WhatsApp by paying a fee.
UIDAI had temporarily barred Airtel from conducting the Aadhaar-based eKYC, after the telco allegedly opened accounts of its mobile phone subscribers without seeking their "informed consent", and deposited LPG subsidy worth crores into them. UIDAI has introduced Virtual ID (VID) that is a 16-digit randomly generated number. This will, in turn, reduce the collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies.
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While security of Aadhaar data has been a subject of debate ever since the idea was floated under the UPA government, repeated allegations of leaks has severely eroded public confidence.
All the remaining AUAs will be branded as Local AUAs and will neither get access to full KYC, nor can they store the Aadhaar number on their systems.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is responsible for maintaining the database, initially denied the claims, dismissing the Tribune story as "clearly a case of misreporting being incorrect and misleading". It will not reveal any of the user's Aadhaar details.
Following its suspension, Airtel Payments Bank had launched a probe, wherein it was observed that some retailers, who were also acting as designated banking points, had not informed customers about savings account opening and direct benefit transfer (DBT) receipts in an upfront manner. On March 11, it was reported that UIDAI was allowing Airtel to continue Aadhaar-based e-KYC verification of telecom subscribers till March 31, but has not withdrawn the current eKYC licence suspension order on its banking arm.
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