UIDAI stops Aadhaar enrollment service by private rural partners

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has declined to renew its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the country’s network of common service centers (CSCs) to provide Aadhaar enrollment services, The Quint reports. CSCs were established in 2006 to provide services to rural areas to reduce the need for Indians to travel long distances to have access to government services. By 2016, there were nearly 200,000 operating in the country, 25,000 of which were authorized by UIDAI to capture biometrics

UIDAI reiterates essential services cannot be denied for lack of Aadhaar number, threatens legal action

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued a statement stressing that the Aadhaar Act clearly and universally bans denial of essential services from its public distribution system (PDS), despite media reports of hospitalization and medical treatment being denied. The agency also threatened to take “strict action” against departments unlawfully denying essential benefits, and encouraged individuals to make use of the complaint process if necessary. Essential services and benefits under Aadhaar include school admission and rations, in addition to

UIDAI announces plans to add facial recognition to Aadhaar

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced the addition of facial recognition to the Aadhaar program to provide more authentication options for users. Aadhaar has previously implemented fingerprint and iris recognition, along with one-time passwords (OTP) for identity verification. UIDAI notes in a circular (PDF) that it is difficult for some users to use fingerprints or iris scans, and that many Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) have not deployed both modalities. The enrollment process for Aadhaar has included the

UIDAI adds tokens, temporary IDs to enhance Aadhaar privacy

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has announced changes to the Aadhaar system including a 16-digit Virtual ID (VID) numbers which users can generate to temporarily validate their identity without sharing their Aadhaar number, along with limits to KYC and UID tokens, all of which is intended to enhance the system’s privacy and security, The Indian Express reports. The collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies will also be reduced. The VID will be “mapped with” the user’s Aadhaar

Snowden blames Aadhaar for destroying privacy of Indians

Edward Snowden has weighed in on the privacy implications of the Aadhaar program and its biometric database ahead of court hearings into its legality, which are slated to begin on January 17. Snowden tweeted support for Rachna Khaira, the Tribune journalist under investigation after reporting that a massive database of personal information from the Aadhaar program was being sold over the internet for roughly $8. The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the government

UIDAI denies reported major Aadhaar security breach

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has responded to a media report claiming that access to the entire Aadhaar database could be purchased for 500 rupees (roughly $8) by saying that no biometric data has been breached, The Indian Express reports. The Chandigarh-based Tribune media outlet claimed not only that it had purchased unrestricted access to details for any of the more than one billion Indian citizens from an anonymous WhatsApp user, but also that for an even smaller

Online publication of Aadhaar info not a security breach, UIDAI says

Media reports suggesting sensitive Aadhaar data has been breached are an inaccurate representation of fact, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said in a statement issued Monday by India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT. Numerous media outlets reported last week that approximately 210 government websites had published personal information related to Aadhaar registrants, following a proactive disclosure by UIDAI under the RTI (Right to Information) Act. While the details were published, UIDAI says the data is public information, and

UIDAI proposes payments regulator to prevent conflict of interest

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the the governing body for Aadhaar, is calling for a “payments system regulator” to prevent conflict of interest and ensure data security by monitoring digital payments, according to a report by International Business Times. According to the agency, the payments system regulator will scale up Aadhaar-based transactions by encouraging interoperability and dissuading unauthorized uses of biometric data. “In UIDAI’s opinion, there is a need for a payments system regulator/observer who can engage with

Report claims UIDAI executives part of private firms profiting from Aadhaar

Current and past employees of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the governing body for Aadhaar, are launching private firms or funding start-ups that are selling Aadhaar-based services and products. According to a report by The Indian Express, the practice is raising concerns regarding propriety and conflict of interest. For instance, former UIDAI chief product managers Vivek Raghavan (who is on a sabbatical with a tenure until the end of February 2018) and Sanjay Jain, as well as former

UIDAI to soon fine banks without Aadhaar enrollment centers

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has given banks until the end of the month to open Aadhaar enrollment centers in 10 percent of branches and will fine Rs 20,000 (US$312) for every uncovered branch after September 30, according to a report by Hindustan Times. The UIDAI, the governing agency in charge of Aadhaar, ordered private and public banks in July to open Aadhaar enrolment and updation facility in one out of 10 branches by the end of August.