Ministry result

Ministry withdraws notice saying not to share copy of Aadhaar

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Sunday withdrew a notice issued by the Aadhaar agency that warned people not to share a photocopy of the document with entities such as hotels and movie theaters due of the possibility of “misuse”. A statement from the ministry on Sunday said the notice had been withdrawn because it could be “misinterpreted”.

The notice was issued by the regional office of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in Bengaluru on Friday.

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He said citizens should only share their Aadhaar information with entities that have a “license to use” from UIDAI. He did not specify how to verify this user license.

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On Sunday, while withdrawing the notice, the ministry said Aadhaar holders are “advised to exercise normal caution in using and sharing” their Aadhaar details, without specifying what constitutes “normal caution”. “.

“The Aadhaar Identity Authentication Ecosystem has provided adequate functionality to protect and safeguard the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder,” the statement said.

He added that the notice warned against sharing Aadhaar details following “attempted misuse of a photoshopped Aadhaar card”.

Friday’s advice appeared to be in stark contrast to a claim by former UIDAI leader and then TRAI chairman RS Sharma, who in 2018 shared his Aadhaar number on Twitter, challenging a user to show a ” concrete example” of how the number could be used to “hurt” him.

The notice read, “Do not share a photocopy of your Aadhaar with organizations as it can be misused. Otherwise, please use a masked Aadhaar which only displays the last 4 digits of your Aadhaar number.


CAG reports privacy risk

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India had noted in April that the UIDAI had not ensured that applications or devices used by agencies or private companies for Aadhaar authentication were “capable of storing personal information. . that endanger the privacy of residents”.

“Only organizations that have obtained a license to use the UIDAI may use Aadhaar to establish a person’s identity. Unlicensed private entities such as hotels or movie theaters are not permitted to collect or to keep copies of the Aadhaar card This is an offense under the Aadhaar Act 2016. If a private entity asks to see your Aadhaar card or asks for a photocopy of your Aadhaar card, please check that they have a valid user license from UIDAI,” he said.

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which essentially allowed private entities to collect Aadhaar details of citizens.

When reading the provision, the Supreme Court had called it “unconstitutional”.

Shortly after the judgment, however, the UIDAI had clarified to banks that Aadhaar Knows Your Customer (eKYC) can be used to authenticate recipients of government grants and social welfare schemes, paving the way for private banks to use the document to identify beneficiaries of government social protection programs.

A few months later, the Center issued the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Order 2019, which allowed banks and telecom operators to collect Aadhaar information as proof of identity.

After the Center launched the Covid-19 vaccination program, a plea was filed in the Supreme Court in 2021 claiming that the Aadhaar card was compulsory for the administration of the vaccines. The government then informed the high court that Aadhaar was not mandatory for registration on the CoWin vaccination portal.