After potentially compromising 90 Crore citizens, UIDAI comes up with better security

In a bid to address concerns raised by Tribune wherein the Chandigarh newspaper easily demonstrated breach of private of private data, the UIDAI on Wednesday introduced a solution.

Aadhar holders can now create a new ‘Virtual ID’  its website and provide this id instaed of their Aadhar number for various purposes. The Virtual ID, which will be a 16-digit number, would give any authorized agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification

A user can now generate as many Virtual IDs as he or she wants. The older ID gets automatically cancelled once a fresh one is generated.

The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number 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 Virtual ID from their users.

This is a noble way in which like OTP, the actual Aadhar number will never be shared in ‘uncontrolled environments’ and can be limited to a one-time usage by the user.

This is a noble solution to a problem that UIDAI and Government refused to accept until very recently. Given the fact that the hack itself, it was procedural in nature and that it should have had been detected on its beta run. At the end of the day this is an IT project and the human hacks are the most common hacks ever.

This still rules out the fact that one day or the another all our biometric data is sure to be compromised. It’s a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’.  Given the fact that Modi government is relentlessly making Aadhar as the exclusive key to all Public and Private services and ownerships, the day that hack happens, will be nothing short of doom’s day.


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