Will 'Virtual ID' now protect your Aadhaar data? Here's all you need to know

UIDAI has introduced two new security features

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.

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.

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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.

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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: