Responding to a news reports on Aadhar data leak, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said that the Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI. Citing the news reports which say “210 Government sites made Aadhaar info public” as if Aadhaar data is leaked or breached, has said that such report is a skewed presentation of the facts and poses as if the Aadhaar data is breached or leaked which is not the true presentation.
UIDAI said that data on these websites was placed in public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure under RTI Act by these government and institutional websites which included beneficiaries’ name, address, bank account, and other details including Aadhaar number and was collected from the third party/users for various welfare schemes. It was this collected info which had been displayed in the public domain under RTI Act. There was no breach or leakage of Aadhaar data from UIDAI database or server as has been aired by the said report.
UIDAI said that acting promptly on this, UIDAI and Ministry of Electronics & IT had directed the concerned Government departments/ministries to immediately remove it from their websites and ensure that such violation do not occur in future. Certain other measures were also taken at various levels to ensure that such incidents of display of Aadhaar numbers do not take place. Following UIDAI’s action such data were removed from these websites immediately. However, the news presented the facts in a skewed manner and misleads readers as if Aadhaar data has been leaked or breached at 210 websites posing Aadhaar security is vulnerable.
UIDAI reiterated that Aadhaar security systems are best of the international standards and Aadhaar data is fully secure. There has been no breach or leakage of Aadhaar data at UIDAI. Also, the Aadhaar numbers which were made public on the said websites do not pose any real threat to the people as biometric information is never shared and is fully secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics.
UIDAI clarified that Aadhaar number is not a secret number. It is to be shared with authorized agencies when an Aadhaarholder wishes to avail a certain service or benefit of government welfare scheme/s or other services. But that does not mean that the proper use of Aadhaar number poses a security or financial threat. Also, mere availability of Aadhaar number will not be a security threat or will not lead to financial/other fraud, as for a successful authentication fingerprint or iris of individual is also required. Further all authentications happen in presence of personnel of respective service provider which further add to the security of the system.