UIDAI Introduces 16-Digit Virtual Aadhaar ID For More Security!
The Virtual Aadhaar Id will mask the real Aadhaar number so that it cannot be misused when submitted as proof of identity.
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the nodal authority on issuing and maintaining Aadhaar numbers of more than 100 crore Indians has received some flak recently for poor security mechanism.
The criticism and anger increased after The Tribune published a stunning report wherein they were able to ‘purchase’ sensitive Aadhaar details of crores of citizens, for just Rs 500.
Due to this sting, UIDAI limited the access of their database from 5000 Govt. officials this week.
Now, an enhanced security mechanism has been introduced, which will further strengthen the safety mechanisms, and hopefully, will fill the security loopholes.
Virtual ID For Every Aadhaar Card = More Safety
UIDAI has been working on this security mechanism since July 2016, and finally, it has been now announced.
A new Virtual ID can be now created for every Aadhaar card, which can be used whenever a 3rd party requires Aadhaar number for any verification or KYC process.
While announcing it, UIDAI said,
“The Aadhaar number being the permanent ID for life, there is need to provide a mechanism to ensure its continued use while optimally protecting the collection and storage in many databases,”
This Virtual Id would be 16 digits long and will have a shelf life so that it cannot be misused.
Nandan Nilekani, former chairman of UIDAI said, “So this is a very very significant thing and I think this is a great step forward,”
As per a UIDAI official, it will take only 10 seconds to generate a new Virtual ID, and has described it as one of the strongest security mechanism ever introduced for Aadhaar.
Virtual Aadhaar ID: How Will It Work?
This new security mechanism will kickstart from March 2018.
When a person is required to provide his or her Aadhaar number, that user can visit UIDAI’s official website or access mAadhaar app to quickly generate a 16-digit Virtual ID, which will act as a mask for the real 12-digit Aadhaar number.
Only name, photograph and address of the person can be accessed via this Virtual ID.
As per UIDAI, this Virtual ID would be “temporary and revocable at any time.”; and every such ID will have a fixed shelf life, which can be set by the user.
In case any person generates a new Virtual ID, then the old one will automatically expire. Hence, at a given moment, only 1 Aadhaar and 1 Virtual ID can exist for any person.
Interestingly, UIDAI authorized agencies such as Authentication User Agency (AUA) and KUA (KYC User Agency) will not be able to generate Virtual IDs for others, and only the user would be able to do so, after authorizing their detail.
Starting 1st June, authorized agencies would be mandated to accept Virtual IDs for KYC or any other verification process.
We will keep you updated as we receive more inputs.