Amid the ongoing controversy over Aadhaar data leak and privacy breach, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a new layer of security to guard the personal details of the citizens.
UIDAI has come up with ‘Virtual ID’, a security measure to prevent Aadhaar details from being shared. The safety feature will also ensure need-based sharing of information through the KYC process. Apart from the Virtual ID, it has also introduced another “Limited KYC” feature.
— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 11, 2018
What is Virtual ID?
UIDAI will create a temporary ‘Virtual ID’ for every Aadhaar card number. This 16-digit ID can be shared instead of the Aadhaar number. A temporary virtual ID (VID) for every Aadhaar number, which can be shared instead of the Aadhaar card number. This ID can be used to avail all services which are done through Aadhaar.
What is Limited KYC?
The UIDAI will divide the Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) into two categories: Global AUAs and Local AUAs. So, only those agencies whose services require them to store the Aadhaar number as per law will be qualified as Global AUAs. The Local AUAs, on the hand, will only be allowed Limited KYC. It will mean that they won’t be allowed to store the Aadhaar numbers, reports The Times of India.
How will it work?
From June, all service providers will have to mandatorily upgrade their systems so that it accepts the Virtual ID. For instance, if one wants to get a new mobile connection, s/he can provide the Virtual ID to the service provider, reports The Indian Express.
How will it be different?
As per the current procedure, one has to share his/her Aadhaar number which includes providing five details — name, date of birth, photo, address and mobile number. But if one uses Virtual ID, the user only has to send his name, photo and address. However, if one wants to apply for a passport, a Virtual ID won’t work as s/he will have to submit all the details.
But, how is this safe?
Only the cardholder will be able to generate this ID which will be temporary. The ID will be valid only for a limited period of time after which it will lapse. UIDAI claims that it will be thus impossible to trace the actual Aadhaar number.
So, will it put an end to the controversy?
It doesn’t seem so because the petitioners who are fighting against Aadhaar at Supreme Court say that they will oppose it.
“The new virtual ID is untested and unworkable. The UIDAI is trying to rectify technical breach by its untested technology. In the hearing next week, we will oppose it tooth and nail,” a petitioner said, reports NDTV.
This, however, did not convince Twitter:
It’s just a matter of time before someone’s #VirtualID matches another person’s
— Deepali Dwivedi (@Deepali_Dwivedi) January 11, 2018
— Sidharth Bhatia (@bombaywallah) January 11, 2018
Does it mean that with introduction of #VirtualId millions of man-hours were wasted? Who is now responsible for privacy of data already submitted? How & which law will protect against b beach of trust?
Such dilly-dally approach & implementation is NOT ACCEPTABLE
— Piyush Joshi (@AcmatixJoshi) January 11, 2018
1. Who don’t have smartphone or no internet knowledge how to generate the VID ?!
2. VID how can use it for aadhaar based payment @NPCI_NPCI @_DigitalIndia (16digitVID@aadhaar.npci will work ) ? !#VirtualID
— siddique (@siddiquemm) January 11, 2018
They give you another 16 digit number by end of March, which you’ll quote in place of #Aadhar number, but they want you to link everything before end of March.
— Janish Murgai (@janishm) January 10, 2018