Govt. Admits SC Never Asked Aadhaar Linking With Phone; Andhra Govt. Leaked Aadhaar Data?
Govt. has finally admitted that Supreme Court had never asked mobile phone users to link their Aadhaar with phone numbers.
Cornered from all sides, Govt. has finally admitted that Supreme Court had never asked mobile phone users to link their Aadhaar with phone numbers.
This means telecom companies can no longer pester their customers, forcing them to link mobiles with Aadhaar. I have personally received more than 100 such calls in the last two odd months, and this was getting out of hand.
In related news, a security researcher has claimed that knowingly or unknowingly, Andhra Govt. has leaked Aadhaar details of lakhs of citizens.
It seems that security and integrity of Aadhaar is still a big joke.
Govt.: No, Supreme Court Hasn’t Asked For Aadhaar Linking
In the ongoing case pertaining to privacy issues of Aadhaar which is being heard by a 5-Judge bench in Supreme Court, Govt. has admitted that Supreme Court never asked for Aadhaar linking of mobile numbers.
Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who is representing Govt. of India right now, has said no such directive came from Supreme Court on this matter.
This is a significant admission because till now, Govt. was using this Supreme Court order as an excuse to enforce Aadhaar linking with mobile phones.
On the other hand, Rakesh said that they were enforcing Aadhaar linkage based on Section 4 of the Aadhaar Act and the Telegraph Act.
After this has been admitted, Govt. and TRAI can no longer ask telecom operators to enforce mandatory Aadhaar linkage for subscribers.
Aadhaar Data Leaked by Andhra Govt.?
Meanwhile, another case of Aadhaar leak has emerged – this time from Andhra Pradesh.
A ‘security researcher’ named Kodali Srinivas has claimed that an official website of Andhra Govt. is unknowingly leaking Aadhaar data of 1.3 lakh citizens.
As per Kodali, Andhra State Housing Corporation’s website has a document called Beneficiary Details, which has Entry Report for Scheme Hudhud and the Urban Housing Scheme.
Now, this file should have been private, and only officials should have access to this. But Kodali found that this is easily accessible, and anyone can view and store data from this document.
This file has sensitive data such as Aadhaar data, bank accounts complete with IFSC code, caste and religion along with the names of 1.3 lakh citizens from the state.
Ironically, this report of the leak has emerged a day after The Andhra Pradesh Cyber Security Operations Centre (APCSOC) was inaugurated by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, hailed as one of the finest cybersecurity hubs in India.
UIDAI along with the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, CERT-In, the Centre’s cyber response wing and the State government authorities have been notified regarding this leak.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.