Amid the controversy over TRAI chairman R S Sharma making his Aadhaar number public, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday advised people not to indulge in such acts. In a statement issued, the UIDAI asked people to refrain from publicly putting their Aadhaar numbers on social media and challenge others.
“…such activities are uncalled for and should be refrained as these are not in accordance with the law. Any person indulging in such acts or abetting or inciting others to do so makes themselves liable for prosecution and penal action under the law,” UIDAI said in the statement.
Warning people of consequences for impersonating the details, UIDAI said, “it is advised that doing Aadhaar authentication through somebody else’s Aadhaar number or using someone else’s Aadhaar number for any purpose may amount to impersonation and thereby a criminal offence under the Aadhaar Act and Indian Penal Code.”
Sharma had on Saturday shared his Aadhaar number publicly, challenging anyone to show how mere knowledge of the number can be misused to harm him. The move had triggered a tsunami of tweets with the Twitterati claiming to disclose Sharma’s personal details – from PAN to his mobile number.
Rejecting the claims of hackers, the UIDAI then had asserted that the personal details of Sharma being put out on Twitter are not from the Aadhaar database or its servers, and that “so-called hacked information” is easily available with a simple search on Google and other sites, without using the 12-digit unique identity number.
Rubbishing all claims that personal details of Sharma were dug up using his Aadhaar number, the UIDAI had said it “condemns such malicious attempts by few individuals to malign the world’s largest unique identity project – Aadhaar”
Many users had claimed that they got Sharma’s personal details “by hacking Aadhaar database”, but added such a claim was “farce” and that no such information about Sharma has been fetched from either its servers or Aadhaar database. The Aadhaar database is safe, the UIDAI added.