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No data breach has been done, clarifies UIDAI

05 January 2018
No data breach has been done, clarifies UIDAI

According to a report by The Tribune, its reporter purchased a service by anonymous sellers on WhatsApp and paid Rs 500 via Paytm to an agent of the group running a racket.

It has been claimed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was leveraging tools of US-based technology provider Cross Match (an Aadhaar vendor) for snooping, and that sensitive data could have been compromised. However, UIDAI has denied any such report saying that the information of Aadhaar cardholders can not be breached.

In its response, the Unique Identification Authority of India said the case reported by The Tribune seemed to be one of "misuse" of this facility, and that it would take legal action against those found involved and file an FIR as well. "Except the Director-General and I, no third person in Punjab should have a login access to our official portal", said Sanjay Jindal, Additional Director-General of UIDAI's Regional Centre in a statement.

"Mere display of demographic information can not be misused without biometrics", it claimed in a statement.

But the breach is the latest in a program facing increasing scrutiny over privacy concerns and is likely to prompt further questions about data safety.

"The perils of making Aadhaar mandatory and linking it to bank accounts, as insisted upon by the Modi government, are visible here", Sitaram Yechury, a leader of the communist party, said in a Twitter post.

The UIDAI dismissed reports Aadhaar details leaking, asserting that its system is "secure" and any misuse can be traced and action taken as it maintains complete log of various functions.

It reiterated that the grievance redressal search facility gives only limited access to name and other details and has no access to biometric details. It is to be shared with authorized agencies whenever an Aadhaar holder wishes to avail certain service or benefit of government welfare scheme/s or other services. A form provided by the UIDAI for this goal has to be downloaded, printed and duly filled, and sent via an India Post mail to the UIDAI along with self-attested copies of required documents, according to the Aadhaar card issuing authority. Allegedly, it holds information like names, addresses, dates of birth, or mobile numbers.