UIDAI Warns Ecommerce Merchants About Unauthorized Collection of Aadhaar Data; Says Black & White Paper Aadhaar Is Valid
Last week, total number of Aadhaar Card holders crossed 1 billion mark. And such huge number of card holders, majority of them having their first ever national identity card, has given rise to some unauthorized ‘business models’, all over the country. For example, few daring entrepreneurs are charging Rs 100-300 for issuing so called ‘Smart Aadhaar Card’ and plastic based Aadhar Card, which are illegal.
Due to growing concern and complaints from Aadhaar Card holders, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), which issues Aadhaar Card, has issued a public clarification regarding such frauds and also given a warning against such activities which can lead to jail term.
Black & White Aadhar Cards Are Fine; Smart Aadhar Card Doesn’t Exist
Very clearly, and bluntly, UIDAI has said that if anyone is charging money to print Aadhaar Card in plastic or for issuing ‘Smart Aadhaar Card’, then it’s a fake.
In the notification, UIDAI has said that even a black and white printout of the Aadhaar Card is legal and valid.
Director General & Mission Director of UIDAI, Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper is perfectly valid for all uses. If a person has a paper Aadhaar card, there is absolutely no need to get his/her Aadhaar card laminated or obtain a plastic Aadhaar card or so called SMART Aadhaar card by paying money. There is no concept such as smart Aadhaar card,”
Besides, in case anyone really needs their Aadhaar Card printed on a plastic card or get their cards laminated, then they can do so only at Common Service Centres or Aadhaar Permanent Enrolment Centres. And the fees for such activity would be no more than Rs 30.
Warning to Ecommerce Merchants
The notification also has a warning for ecommerce merchants, who are illegally collecting Aadhaar Card details from customers. It seems UIDAI has received complaints wherein merchants from some ecommerce websites are asking customers to provide their Aadhar card details for printing them in a card.
Doing such would attract punishment from the Govt.
The notification said, “E-commerce companies such E-bay, Flipkart, Amazon etc., are hereby informed not to allow their merchants to collect Aadhaar information from general public for printing Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorized printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner may amount to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code and also Chapter VI of The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.”
UIDAI has said that in case anyone wants to get a printout of their Aadhar Card, they can do so by simply visiting https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/, which is the official website of UIDAI and Aadhar Card.
Last year, we had asked whether growing usage of Aadhaar Card will lead to frauds as well? And now, the growing cases of identity theft and frauds related with Aadhaar Card is proving that Indian citizens need legal/social protection from such frauds.