India’s biometric identification system, Aadhaar faces yet another controversy following a report on Tribune India. The report claims that the entire data of 1 billion Indians could be accessed, or purchased, for just Rs 500 to a third-party claiming to offer the service. The report raised concerns of data privacy and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has denied that no such data breach took place.
A WhatsApp group sold all Aadhaar data available with the UIDAI for a price of Rs 500. A reporter from The Tribune joined a WhatsApp group and paid Rs 500 via Paytm to it. Following the transaction, one of the agents gave an ID and password to the reporter. The credentials gave the reporter access to any Aadhaar number available with UIDAI. After supplying an additional fee of Rs 300, the agents provided them with Aadhaar printing software. The report claims that around one lakh illegal users are involved in the racket and it might have started six months ago.
UIDAI, however, disagrees with the report and said that the Tribune’s article is a “case of misreporting.”
According to UIDAI, some persons had misused demographic search facility which was given to elected officials to help residents who had lost Aadhaar/enrollment slip to retrieve their details. UIDAI also said that it maintains a complete logs and any misuse is traceable.