Responding to media reports which alleged that "210 Government sites made Aadhaar info public", the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said that the Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure, and there has never been a breach or data leak at the UIDAI.
The UIDAI in a notification said that data on these mentioned websites was placed in a public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure under Right to Information (RTI) Act by government and institutional websites, which included the beneficiaries' name, address, bank account, and other details, which also included the Aadhaar number and were collected from the third party/users for various welfare schemes.
It was this collected information that had been displayed in the public domain under the RTI Act. There was no breach or leakage of Aadhaar data from UIDAI database or server as has been aired by the said report, the authority clarified.
UIDAI and Ministry of Electronics & IT have further directed the concerned government departments and ministries to immediately remove the data from their websites and ensure that such violations 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 the websites immediately.However, the news presented the facts in a skewed manner and mislead the readers, the statement from UIDAI read.
UIDAI reiterated that Aadhaar security systems are amongst the best and at par with international standards and that one's Aadhaar data is fully secure.
"There has been no breach or leakage of Aadhaardata 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 a mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics", the notification added.
The authority further clarified that one's Aadhaar number is not a secret number.
"It is to be shared with authorized agencies when an Aadhaar holder wishes to avail a certain service or benefit of government welfare scheme/s and other services. But that does not mean that the proper use of Aadhaar number poses a security or financial threat. Also, the 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 an 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," the statement read.
UIDAI 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.
(With ANI Inputs)