Aadhaar-SIM Card link: Even after Supreme judgement on ‘Right to Privacy’, the Union government is moving with its earlier plan of linking all prepaid and postpaid mobile SIM cards to Aadhaar and deactivating all unlinked SIM cards after February 2018. According to reports, this is being done in line with Central government assurance given to apex court in February that it would put in place, an effective mechanism for the verification of prepaid mobile users within a year.
While hearing a petition filed by the Lokiti Foundation, the top court in February 2017 had asked the government to re-verify the phone numbers of all mobile phone users within a year. At that time, Union government had responded to the court’s order by saying that it would use Aadhaar number to establish a genuine owner of a SIM card.
The petitioner had contended that Know Your Customer (KYC) rules are not being properly followed by mobile operators and this loophole could be exploited by criminals, fraudsters and terrorists. Therefore, in March, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had issued a notice making it mandatory for all telecom subscribers to re-verify existing customers through the Aadhaar-based e-KYC process by February 6, 2018.
To allay the fear of misuse of data, government has assured that data collected or linked to Aadhaar is safe and secure. Mobile operators will not have access to biometric and any other personal data of individuals. In case mobile operation collect biometrics, they need to be encrypted and sent to UIDAI. Any storage of biometric by a service provider is a criminal offence punishable with up to three years of imprisonment under the Aadhaar Act 2016.
Since, government has made it mandatory to link SIM card to Aadhaar. Everyone will have to do it before February 6, 2018.
How to link your SIM Cards with Aadhaar
Aadhaar card without mobile number
First case: You already have Aadhaar card but your mobile number is not registered. In this case, one has to get their mobile number registered with UIDAI and this can only be done via UIDAI centres. The staff would look for some basic documents like address proof, photo ID proof and age proof. In addition, they will use your biometric like thumb impression to process your request for linking of mobile number. Usually it take not more than 10 days to process the request. Once, you mobile number is linked, you can link your other mobile numbers to your Aadhaar through self-service website of UIDAI.
Linking more than one SIM cards to a Aadhaar
Second case: One can re-verify all the numbers with Aadhar but only one number can be linked/registered to receive OTP for making changes and updation. To link a mobile number, the user will have to go to the self-service portal of UIDAI. After entering their details, they will receive an OTP on their existing mobile number. After feeding OTP number and entering the phone number that a person want to link, the request will be processed.