Soon no need to share Aadhaar ID for verification: UIDAI

Chidambaram. File

Chidambaram. File

The Indian Government has announced significant changes to the way the national ID, Aadhaar, is now being used for authentication.

Datar also said he did not know what the Centre was doing and added that he was "clueless" about how a Virtual ID would help address the issue of privacy, especially in rural areas.

To generate their Virtual ID, the users can visit the UIDAI website that will be valid for a defined period of time, or till the user decides to change it. Almost 1.2 billion Aadhaar numbers have been issued till date, with over 99% of adults having the number by 2017. However, his tweet, showing an image of his Aadhaar card, still carried the QR code that was enough for those with basic tech expertise to decode his demographic details, his bank account numbers, and other sensitive information.

Read also: Afraid of Aadhaar Misuse? This was done to address privacy concerns after a news report claimed a breach in the Aadhaar database. 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.

He noted that the damage has been done as millions of citizens have already shared their unique ID number with service providers.

"VID, by design being temporary, can not be used by agencies for de-duplication".

Read also: Should We Link Aadhaar or Not?

"And at that time, it was felt that let us first give Aadhaar number, let us see how it plays out and then, at an appropriate time, this will be introduced", he said. Since the system-generated VID will be mapped to an individual's Aadhaar number at the back end, it will do away with the need for the user to share Aadhaar number with sundry service agencies. You can generate as many VIDs as you want-the older ID gets automatically cancelled once a fresh one is generated.

When a person is required to provide his or her Aadhaar number, that user can visit UIDAI's official website or access mAadhaar app to quickly generate a 16-digit Virtual ID, which will act as a mask for the real 12-digit Aadhaar number.

VID can be generated only by the Aadhaar number holder.

In its circular, there is very little information on how the government proposes to classify these AUAs except that it will be based on an evaluation process hinging on "laws governing the AUA".

When will the limited KYC and UID Tokens be in place? The VID's last digit is the checksum that uses Verhoeff algorithm similar to the Aadhaar number. According to the UIDAI. "Ans NO. Similarly why re-authenticate the Aadhar number everytime it is used (sic)", Tewari said.

"Aadhaar is here to stay!"

UIDAI will share updated API/technical documents, guidelines, and conduct workshops / training sessions for AUAs/KUAs to ensure smooth and timely implementation.

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