Use Aadhaar freely, without fear: UIDAI

It will issue ‘dos and don’ts’ while sharing the number

After TRAI chief’s Aadhaar dare ignited a debate on the security of the 12-digit number, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is planning a user outreach to sensitise people to the dos and don’ts of sharing their biometric identifier.

The UIDAI intends to draw a parallel between the Aadhaar number and other personal information such as PAN (Permanent Account Number) and bank account number to caution users against placing such details in the public domain, particularly on digital platforms.

‘No cause for fear’

“It is necessary to inform people that they should use Aadhaar freely, without fear, and a detailed FAQ (frequently asked questions) will be issued,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of UIDAI, said.

The FAQ will address nearly six queries on the issue, which has been hotly debated over the past fortnight ever since TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma, a former Director-General of the UIDAI, tweeted his Aadhaar number and dared Internet users to show how mere knowledge of the ID can cause him “real harm”. His tweet caused a flutter after some users claimed to have accessed his bank account number and e-mail id, though the TRAI chief refuted their claims.

Cautioning people against publicising their Aadhaar number, the UIDAI, however, says it can be given freely for proving one’s identity and for transaction purposes, just like one gives bank account or other details for a specific purpose.

Mere knowledge of Aadhaar cannot harm an individual or be misused for impersonation, as it is fortified with additional security layers such as biometrics and one-time password authentication, it says.

The UIDAI has also outlined the responsibilities of banks and other user organisations in carrying out the required checks in this regard.

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