January 11, 2018

Aadhaar Introduces ’16-Digit Virtual ID’ to Address Privacy Concerns

Recently we have seen a spine-chilling news where the Aadhaar details of one billion Indian being sold for just Rs.500. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has declined any breach though. But few days after the news, the organization has announced a new system to improve the privacy of the citizens of India.




To address the privacy concerns the UIDAI is adding an additional layer of security that involves creating a Virtual ID for the citizens of India to ensure need-based sharing and limit the Know Your Customer (KYC).

The Virtual ID would be a random 16-digit number, which could be used for authentication instead of providing the Aadhaar number. Instead of the current system where all the five details including name, date of birth, photo, address and mobile number are shared with an authorised agency like service provider during authentication, this 16 digit id along with biometrics of a user would allow only need-based sharing like name, address and photograph. However, for a passport, all the details may be required.

A user can opt to use the Virtual ID any number of times and they also have an option of generating a new ID as many times he/she wants.

The UIDAI will start accepting the virtual ids from March 1st, 2018 which could be shared with service providers, banks and insurance companies. And from June 1st, it is mandatory for all the agencies to accept the virtual ids of users for authentication. The agencies will have to face the financial disincentives if they do not upgrade their systems and doesn’t allow virtual IDs to authenticate the users by a stipulated deadline.

What do you think of this additional layer of security to increase the security of the users? Share your views in the comments below!

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