New Aadhaar Virtual ID To Disclose Only Selective Information As Required

| January 11 , 2018 , 10:41 IST

The government issued biometric Aadhaar identification cards have been under controversy over alleged data breaches, with the public raising questions on how safe the details provided in the cards are.

In a move to restrict the amount of information provided to government or private agencies that need verification of a given person, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the issuing authority of the Aadhaar cards, has introduced the concept of Virtual Aadhaar ID.

By means of the Virtual Aadhaar ID, people can request for a temporary Virtual ID, to give to required agencies which would provide selective details from their Aadhaar cards, for example, only give their names and date of birth, while omitting other details.

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The order issued by the UIDAI on Wednesday would define two types of authentication agencies, as opposed to the earlier single Authentication User Agency, or AUA. The first kind of authentication agency would include banks and income tax authorities and would be granted complete access to an individual's details. The second kind, would get limited access as per requirement, therefore better safe-guarding the Aadhaar-card holders.

"For example," an official explained, "the UIDAI might decide that the user agency can do with just the name and date of birth of an individual. Someone else could be given access to the name and address and another agency, the photograph too."

The UIDAI added, "while it is important to ensure that Aadhaar number holders can use their identity information to avail many products and services, the collection and storage of Aadhaar numbers by various entities has heightened privacy concerns."

Once the new system is in place, people will be able to generate a 16-digit number from the UIDAI website and give to the required authorites. The number would be valid only for a limited period of time.