India’s UIDAI extends deadline for Virtual ID implementation

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has extended the deadline for banks, telecom companies, and other service providers to complete their deployment of Virtual ID (VID) systems to accept in place of Aadhaar numbers by one month, to July 1, Tribune India reports.

The decision came after agencies told the UIDAI that they required more time to implement the new system. The UIDAI announced the VID system in January to reduce the range of cases in which Indian consumers must share their 12-digit Aadhaar number, after a series of privacy-related controversies. The VID is generated by users on the UIDAI website, and comes with any download of eAadhaar, according to the Tribune.

Users can provide a 16-digit VID and biometrics for Aadhaar-based authentication, without sharing their Aadhaar numbers, and can generate a new VID, which automatically cancels the old one, at any time. Authenticating agencies cannot generate a VID on behalf of a user, but if they are unable to accept it when the deadline arrives, they could face fines.

A beta version of VID was rolled out in April, allowing users to generate a VID and use it to change the address associated with their Aadhaar number online.

A ruling on the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar program and the various laws and procedures associated with it is expected soon from India’s Supreme Court, as lengthy hearings draw to a close.

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