Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, reiterated his government's stand that Aadhaar data was safe. Flaunting his Aadhaar card, the minister sought to debunk some myths surrounding the biometrics-embedded identity document.
Prasad's defence of the Aadhaar card comes days after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman R S Sharma put out his Aadhaar number on Twitter. Sharma later went into a stunned silence on its vulnerability after some ethical hackers posted details of his mobile number and bank account linked with the Aadhaar number.
In an effort to clear the cobwebs, Prasad said, "I want to dispense some myths around Aadhaar. What does it contain? It contains my photograph and my permanent Patna address. It does not contain my caste, my religion, medical record, income record and matrimonial record. Therefore, there is nothing in this card for which I can be trolled. What the system contains is my core biometrics -- my ten fingerprints and my iris -- kept in safe condition, and in a secure and encrypted form, which cannot be broken by the billionth of effort. It is all homegrown technology," he said to a large gathering Bhubaneswar.
About 35 million authentications are done every day and 950 million bank accounts are linked with Aadhaar.
Aadhaar is a digital identity to supplement physical identity, the minister said.
"You can change your name but you can't change your biometrics and iris. That's a clear Indian innovation backed by a Parliamentary law with due regard to privacy, safety and security," he added.
Prasad was in the city to inaugurate the Software Technology Parks of India's (STPI's) new facility, which has been built with an investment of approximately Rs 500 million. Dharmendra Pradhan, minister for petroleum & natural gas and skill development & entrepreneurship, Omkar Rai, director general of STPI, and Manas Ranjan Panda, jurisdictional director of STPI, among others, were present at the inauguration ceremony.
The STPI centre inaugurated on Saturday is the biggest centre in Eastern India. It will promote innovation, entrepreneurship and incubation, Prasad said.
Spread across around three acres of land at Idco Knowledge Zone, Gothapatna, on the city's outskirts, the state-of-the-art building, named 'STPI ELITE', will house STPI's next-generation incubation facility, fabrication lab in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), ESDM (electronic system design and manufacturing) incubation and data centre to cater to the needs of the IT, information technology-enabled service, and ESDM industries.