Aadhaar’s new virtual ID security feature is like locking stable after horses have bolted: P Chidambaram

"Under compulsion, millions of persons have already shared Aadhaar number with many service providers. New security layer is like locking the stable after horses have bolted," Chidambaram said on Twitter

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 11, 2018 2:13 pm
Chidambaram on Aadhaar virtual ID Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday questioned the UIDAI’s move to secure Aadhaar data by introducing virtual IDs (Express Photo/Amit Mehra/File)

Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday questioned the UIDAI’s move to secure Aadhaar data by introducing virtual IDs saying the move was futile as many have already shared their Aadhaar numbers with government agencies, banks as well as mobile service providers.

Chidambaram, in a tweet this morning, used an analogy to drive home his point. “Under compulsion, millions of persons have already shared Aadhaar number with many service providers. New security layer is like locking the stable after horses have bolted.”

Earlier this month, a report in The Tribune alleged Aadhaar data can be accessed through WhatsApp for a fee. Following the report, the UIDAI said there was no breach of sensitive data such as one’s biometrics, but it went ahead and filed a case against the news organisation as well as the agency that provided the information to the journalist for a fee.

On Wednesday, in a circular issued, the agency introduced another layer of protection in a bid to ensure citizens that their data will be secure.

Virtual IDs (VID) is a 16-digit code that can mask one’s Aadhaar number for a temporary period was introduced. The new virtual ID can be used in place of Aadhaar numbers to validate one’s identity. This, UIDAI hopes, will ensure that no one, except the holder, can access the person’s Aadhaar number. For any given Aadhaar number there will only be one active VID at any given time. Further, it can be revoked or a new one can be generated after a maximum validity period by a person who holds that Aadhaar number. This, UIDAI said, will reduce the collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies.

The UIDAI has also introduced Limited KYC (Know Your Customer) and UID Tokens, in an attempt to assuage privacy and security concerns about the misuse of Aadhaar numbers.

Former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani welcomed the move to put in place a two-layer security to reinforce privacy protection for aadhaar card holders. Calling the recent reports of data breach an “orchestrated campaign” to malign Aadhaar, Nilekani said, “I think this is a very significant announcement by UIDAI and in some sense it really makes the case against it go away.”

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  1. Ramanathan Narayanan
    Jan 12, 2018 at 12:44 pm
    Chidambaram while he was holding the office could not achieve anything excepting his personal creer growth .he does not have any moral standards to talk about others. While in office if he had enough thoughts and wiil about sa uarding Indians from terrorist he could have atleast initiated anything. He utterly failed and now he talks tall about others mistakes
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    1. Ravi Indran S R
      Jan 12, 2018 at 5:19 am
      Chidambaram has a grouse, always, he has to release sound bites if not people wont remember. He has to be relevent. He needs to to emit any sound, seemingly rational but irrelevent. It was the Congressmen who rolled out Aadhar. He at some point was responsible for taking the decesion on collecting personal data. The UPA govt set in motion the UDAI. Chidambaram as a senior Minister knows better the intricasies of such a scheme and how it could roll out a better subsidy management and also, how this system can be enhansed to track financial flow of individuals, business, and govt spending. Flaws will show up. As the UpA is out in the limbo, chiddy can make all the noise he wants. He is just blackening his face.
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      1. Gogula Murty
        Jan 11, 2018 at 9:29 pm
        This useless person is responsible for stopping Aadhar during UPA rule because it stops looting by him. That is the reason he writes regularly opposing it
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        1. Indian Singh
          Jan 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm
          AADHAAR UID was commenced by CONgress led UPA Govt. So if the STABLE was left OPEN for the HORSE to BOLT, it is the FAILURE of CONgress led UPA GOVT in which Mr CHIDAMBARAM was a CABINET MINISTER. ........................... The ANTI-AADHAAR PROPAGANDA is peeking after Mr MODI led BJP GOVT insisted on LINKING all BANK ACCOUNTS to UID AADHAAR thus making it difficult to have MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS in MULTIPLE BANK BRANCHES to STASH LOOT. Priore to AADHAAR LINKING, it was possible for LOOTERS to open 100 accounts in 100 different branches and DEPOSIT FEW CRORES in each while each of them remained independent accounts. But with AADHAAR LINKING to Bank Account, the TOTAL AMOUNT in all those 100 accounts will automatically be LINKED to LOOT STASHER, thus making LOOT STASH DIFFICULT. And so all this NEGATIVE PROPAGANDA.
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          1. Ramanathan Natarajan
            Jan 11, 2018 at 4:44 pm
            P.C. is like a retired Mother-in-law who refuses to accept that the kitchen has been taken over by daughter-in-law who is equally competent to run the household. Like MIL, being out of power, keeps on murmuring and commenting on every thing. Who cares?.
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