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UIDAI introduces 'Virtual ID' to avoid sharing of your Aadhaar number

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has also introduced the concept of 'limited KYC'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


In a bid to address privacy concerns, the on Wednesday introduced a new concept of 'Virtual ID' which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID. This will give the users the option of not sharing their at the time of authentication. The Virtual ID, which would be a random 16-digit number, together with biometrics of the user would give any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification. Officials said a user can generate as many Virtual IDs as he or she wants. The older ID gets automatically cancelled once a fresh one is generated. ALSO READ: Fixing Aadhaar: Security developers' task is to trim chances of data breach The (UIDAI) has also introduced the concept of 'limited KYC' under which it will only provide need-based or limited details of a user to an authorised agency that is providing a particular service, say, a telco. The will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person's and the Aadhaar-issuing body will start accepting it from March 1, 2018. From June 1, 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the from their users. Agencies that do not migrate to the new system to offer this additional option to their users by the stipulated deadline will face financial disincentives. "holder can use in lieu of whenever authentication or services are performed.

Authentication may be performed using the in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number," a circular said. The move aims to strengthen the privacy and security of Aadhaar data and comes amid heightened concerns around the collection and storage of personal and demographic data of individuals. Users can go to the website to generate their which will be valid for a defined period of time, or till the user decides to change it. They can give this to service agencies along with the fingerprint at the time of authentication. Since the system generated will be mapped to an individual's itself at the back end, it will do away with the need for the user to share for authentication. It will also reduce the collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies. As per the UIDAI, agencies that undertake authentication would not be allowed to generate the on behalf of Aadhaar holder. The is instructing all agencies using its authentication and eKYC services to ensure can provide the 16-digit instead of within their application. As many as 119 crore biometric identifiers have been issued so far and Aadhaar is required as an identity proof of residents by various government and non-government entities. For instance, the government has made it mandatory for verifying bank account and to weed out black money and bring unaccounted wealth to book. The same for SIM has been mandated to establish the identity of mobile phone users.

First Published: Wed, January 10 2018. 16:50 IST