Aadhaar body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) moments ago confirmed that Aadhaar data is safe and denied the data breach which is making headlines since today morning. Earlier today, it was reported by The Tribune newspaper that they had bought access to one billion Aadhaar numbers at just Rs 500. Wait, What? At just Rs 500 is what you may ask, but according to the newspaper, they got access to a billion of Aadhaar numbers at such a small amount.
"The Aadhaar data, including biometric information, is fully safe and secure," UIDAI said in a statement it released today evening. At the same time, the authority rated the report of The Tribune as "a case of misreporting".
"UIDAI assures that there has not been any Aadhaar data breach," and also said that the data is secure with a "robust uncompromised security".
The Tribune India newspaper, in its report, said that a group of people are giving access to Enrolment Agency Administrator at just Rs 500. After paying the amount, users will be given login details as an Enrolment Agency Administrator where they can get all the Aadhaar details.
UIDAI said, "it had given search facility for the purpose of grievance redressal to designated personnel and state government officials to help residents only by entering their 12-digit Aadhaar numbers." Also, the authority cleared that grievance redressal search facility gives only limited access to the names and other details, and not biometric details.
Furthermore, UIDAI clarified that it maintains complete log and traceability of its search facility and any misuse was traceable. "The reported case appears to be an instance of misuse of the grievance redressal search facility. As UIDAI maintains complete log and traceability of the facility, the legal action including lodging of FIR against the persons involved in the instant case is being done," added the statement.
The Aadhaar database "remains fully safe and secure with the highest encryption at UIDAI and a mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics". The statement further read that a 12-digit Aadhaar ID is no secret and it had to be shared with certain agencies whenever an Aadhaar holder wishes to avail a particular service or benefit of government welfare schemes.
"That does not mean that the proper use of Aadhaar number poses a security or financial threat. Also, the mere availability of Aadhaar number will not be a security threat (and) will not lead to financial (or) other fraud, as for a successful authentication fingerprint or iris of the individual is also required," clarified UIDAI.
"Claims of bypassing or duping the Aadhaar enrolment system are totally unfounded. The UIDAI Data Centres are an infrastructure of critical importance and are protected accordingly with high technology conforming to the best standards of security and also by legal provisions," further added the statement.
Overall, this incident of data breach sounds scary, but it's good to see UIDAI responding at such a quick time. What's your take on this Aadhaar breach? Let us know by commenting below.