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.
Tribune’s Story “Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details” is a case of misreporting. No biometric data breach @thetribunechd @rsprasad @ceo_uidai @timesofindia @firstpost @IndiaToday @ZeeNews— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 4, 2018
Some persons have misused demographic search facility, given to designated officials to help residents who have lost Aadhaar/Enrollment slip to retrieve their details @thetribunechd @rsprasad @ceo_uidai @timesofindia @firstpost @IndiaToday @ZeeNews @htTweets @TheQuint— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 4, 2018
@UIDAI maintains complete log & traceability of the facility, any misuse is traceable. Legal action taken, including FIR against persons involved. Search facility gives limited access to name & other details, has no access to biometric details @thetribunechd @rsprasad @ceo_uidai— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 4, 2018
There has not been any data breach of biometric database which remains fully safe & secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic info cannot be misused without biometrics @thetribunechd @timesofindia @rsprasad @ceo_uidai @htTweets @ZeeNews @IndiaToday— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 4, 2018
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.
No #Aadhaar data breach; Aadhaar data including biometric information is fully safe and secure: @UIDAI, denying report by @thetribunechd, saying it is a case of misreporting 1/2 pic.twitter.com/2d4ORHqqMh— PIB India (@PIB_India) January 4, 2018
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.