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After TRAI Chief's Aadhaar Dare, UIDAI Says Such Public Stunts Make Sensitive Info 'Vulnerable'

After RS Sharma posted his unique ID on Saturday, the UIDAI issued a statement on Tuesday advising “people to refrain from publicly putting their Aadhaar numbers on internet and social media and posing challenges to others”.

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Updated:July 31, 2018, 10:00 PM IST
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After TRAI Chief's Aadhaar Dare, UIDAI Says Such Public Stunts Make Sensitive Info 'Vulnerable'
File image of TRAI chairman RS Sharma. (PTI Photo)
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New Delhi: Days after TRAI chief RS Sharma made his Aadhaar number public in a Twitter post and found himself at the centre of a raging debate, UIDAI on Tuesday warned people against such stunts, saying such acts go against the Aadhaar law and make one "vulnerable".

After Sharma posted his unique ID on Saturday, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued a statement on Tuesday advising “people to refrain from publicly putting their Aadhaar numbers on internet and social media and posing challenges to others”.

It said, "Indiscriminate and unwanted publication of any personally sensitive information whether Aadhaar or any other, may render the concerned person vulnerable and, therefore, should be avoided."

Sharing his Aadhaar number on Twitter, Sharma had dared hackers to get access to his personal information in a bid to show that it is secure. However, a number of Twitter users, led by one who claims to be a French expert on privacy, replied to Sharma's post with his PAN, phone number and other personal details, including a photograph of Sharma with a female relative.

Sharma, however, claimed victory saying his personal details were already available on other platforms as he is a public servant.

Yet, UIDAI has advised that such activities are “uncalled for” and should be refrained from as these are not in accordance with the law.

It further added that Aadhaar is nique to each person that can be authenticated to prove one’s identity. UIDAI also said that they have been “consistently making people aware not to display or publish or share their Aadhaar number in public domain”.

The challenge by Sharma had evoked an immediate response on Twitter, creating quite a stir with some users claiming to have dug up his mobile number, photo, residential address, date of birth, even chat threads using the information, and others warning him about the perils of throwing such a dare on the social media platform.

Some also rushed to support Sharma, explaining how much of the information about him could be procured without using his Aadhaar number.

UIDAI said that Aadhaar number contains “personally sensitive information” like bank account number, passport number, PAN, etc., and should not be shared publicly.

The Aadhaar authority has advised that doing Aadhaar authentication through somebody else’s Aadhaar number may lead to impersonation and “thereby a criminal offence under the Aadhaar Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC). 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. Therefore people should refrain from such acts”.

Further, the Aadhaar authority has said, “… as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and IT (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 and Justice Srikrishna’s proposed Data Protection Bill, personally sensitive information should not be published or shared publicly. Indiscriminate and unwanted publication of any personally sensitive information whether Aadhaar or any other, may render the concerned person vulnerable and, therefore, should be avoided.”

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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