After widespread concerns of privacy, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) today introduced a new concept called ‘Virtual ID’ which Aadhaar-card holders can generate from its website and provide for various purposes which can include SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID. Using this method will ensure that users do not have to share their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.
The virtual ID will be a random 16-digit number and would give any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any form of verification.
Officials involved said that users can create as many Virtual IDs as he or she wants as the old ID gets cancelled automatically once a new one is generated. The UIDAI has also introduced the concept of ‘limited KYC’ under which it will only provide limited details of a user to an authorised agency that is providing a particular service.The Virtual ID will be a revocable 16-digit random number linked to a person’s Aadhaar number and the UIDAI will start accepting it from March 1, 2018. From June 1, 2018 it will be mandatory for all agencies undertaking authentication to accept the new Virtual ID. Companies failing to migrate to the new system by the deadline might face financial disincentives.