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There's an Orchestrated Campaign to Malign Aadhaar: Former UIDAI Chief Nilekani

Nilekani said Aadhaar has far too many security layers and it is not possible to randomly breach them.

PTI

Updated:January 11, 2018, 9:43 AM IST
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There's an Orchestrated Campaign to Malign Aadhaar: Former UIDAI Chief Nilekani
File photo of Nandan Nilekani. (Getty Images)

Bengaluru: Former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani has said that there was an "orchestrated campaign" to malign Aadhaar.

"There is hundred per cent an orchestrated campaign to see how Aadhaar gets maligned, yes absolutely," said Nilekani on the sidelines of a function in Bengaluru.

He said the issue has been blown out of proportion as Aadhaar has far too many security layers and it is not possible to randomly breach them.

Nilekani said negative views on Aadhaar will have negative reactions and hence, it would be better for people to have a constructive view on it. "If you are just taking a negative view, and not a constructive view, then you also have other (negative) reactions. I think, everybody has to accept Aadhaar is here to stay," the former UIDAI chief said.

The Aadhaar is here to stay because as many as 119 crore people have it, 550 million have linked the numbers to their bank accounts and Rs 95,000 crore transferred into DBT accounts, he added.

Nilekani said he was very confident of the Supreme Court upholding Aadhaar under the fundamental right of privacy because it meets the test of the law being proportionate and reasonable.

Replying to a query, he welcomed putting in place a two- layer security to reinforce privacy protection for Aadhaar ID number holders by the UIDAI.

"I think this is a very significant announcement by UIDAI and in some sense it really makes the case against it go away," he said.

The former UIDAI chief said it has introduced a virtual identification for ID holders so that the actual number need not be shared by the people to authenticate their identity.

Simultaneously, it has further regulated the storage of the Aadhaar number within various databases, he added.

To address privacy concerns, the UIDAI on Wednesday introduced a new concept of 'Virtual ID' which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.

This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.

The Virtual ID, which would be a random 16-digit number, together with biometrics of the user would give any authorized agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification.

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| Edited by: Mayur Borah
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