UIDAI reviews Biometric Lock Aadhaar function as legal decision looms

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reviewed the Biometric Lock function of the Aadhaar system in a series of Tweets this week, as it fights an ongoing battle against public perception that the system is a threat to the privacy and security of Indian people.

The Aadhaar user logs into the UIDAI’s online portal with a one-time passcode (OTP) sent to their registered mobile phone number, and selects the “Lock/Unlock Biometrics” link. After entering an Aadhaar number and another OTP to change whether biometrics can be used for authentication. The agency says this helps protect the privacy and confidentiality of user’s biometrics data, and is suggested for consideration if the account holder is not planning to use their biometrics for authentication in the near future.

The UIDAI also reiterated in response to a Twitter query that Aadhaar centers are permitted to charge up to 25 rs (US$0.36) to update a user’s biometric information, and that if a user is asked to pay more for the service, they can report the center to the UIDAI for corruption, NDTV reports.

The Aadhaar system has been criticized as a threat to privacy and security, and India is currently awaiting a decision from its Supreme Court about the constitutional validity of the law underpinning the system, as well as various components of it.

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