The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) on Sunday dismissed claims made by several people to have accessed personal details about Ram Sewak Sharma, after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) posted his Aadhar number on Twitter.
The TRAI chairman threw open a challenge on the social network asking people to give one concrete example where anyone could do any harm to him.
Condemning those people claiming to have accessed his mobile number, WhatsApp profile photo, PAN and email id through his Aadhar, UIDAI said, “It condemns such malicious attempts by few individuals to malign the world’s largest unique identity project – Aadhaar. Aadhaar has built the digital trust among people at large and these devious elements are trying to spread misinformation.”
“My Aadhaar number is XXXX XXXX XXXX (masked). Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me,” Sharma, former director general of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), had tweeted. He was replying to a tweet which asked him to “publish your Aadhaar details to the public if you have so much trust in this 13ft wall secured system”.
A Twitter user, who claimed to be a French security researcher, said none of Sharma’s bank accounts were linked to his Aadhaar number, but Sharma denied this.
“Aadhaar database is totally safe and has proven its security robustness over last eight years. UIDAI emphatically stated that any information published on Twitter about the said individual RS Sharma was not fetched from Aadhaar database or UIDAI’s servers,” the identification body tweeted.
Sharma’s challenge came a day after the Srikrishna Committee submitted its report on data protection, including amendments in the Aadhaar Act and new safeguards to protect information of Aadhaar holders. The panel recommended that the Aadhaar Act be amended “significantly” to bolster privacy safeguards, and mooted that only public authorities discharging public functions, approved by the UIDAI or entities mandated by law, be given the right to request for identity authentication.