The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) responding to a news report, appeared in certain section of media on “210 Government sites made Aadhaar info public” hinting that the data is leaked or breached, has said that such report is a skewed presentation of the facts and poses as if the data is breached or leaked which it said is not the true presentation. UIDAI said in a statement here that the Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.
It said that this said data on these websites was placed in public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure under RTI Act by these government and institutional websites which included beneficiaries’ name, address, bank account, and other details including Aadhaar number and was collected from the third party/users for various welfare schemes. It was this collected info which had been displayed in the public domain under RTI Act. There was no breach or leakage of Aadhaar data from UIDAI database or server as has been aired by the said report.
UIDAI said that acting promptly on this, UIDAI and Ministry of Electronics & IT had directed the concerned Government departments/ministries to immediately remove it from their websites and ensure that such violation do not occur in future. Certain other measures were also taken at various levels to ensure that such incidents of display of Aadhaar numbers do not take place. Following UIDAI’s action such data were removed from these websites immediately. However, the news presented the facts in a skewed manner and misleads readers as if Aadhaar data has been leaked or breached at 210 websites posing Aadhaar security is vulnerable.
It had reiterated that Aadhaar security systems are “best of the international standards and Aadhaar data is fully secure. There has been no breach or leakage of the data at UIDAI. Also, the Aadhaar numbers which were made public on the said websites do not pose any real threat to the people as biometric information is never shared and is fully secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics.”
UIDAI has also said that Aadhaar number is not a secret number and rather that it is to be shared with authorized agencies when an Aadhaarholder wishes to avail a certain service or benefit of government welfare scheme/s or other services. “But that does not mean that the proper use of Aadhaar number poses a security or financial threat. Also, mere availability of Aadhaar number will not be a security threat or will not lead to financial/other fraud, as for a successful authentication fingerprint or iris of individual is also required. Further, all authentications happen in presence of personnel of respective service provider which further add to the security of the system.”
Furthermore, UIDAI has informed that the security system has people’s participatory security system like Biometric Lock facility available at UIDAI portal “which any Aadhaarholder can use to put his/her own lock on one’s biometric by visiting UIDAI’s official website www.uidai.gov.in.”