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Unique Identification Authority of India introduced ‘Virtual ID’ Enhancing Protection to Biometric IDs - (10 Jan 2018)


With the aim to strengthen privacy protection for Aadhaar ID number holders, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced ‘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. Aadhaar-card holder will get the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. The Virtual ID, a random 16-digit number, together with biometrics of the user would give any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited details such as name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification. A user can generate as many Virtual IDs as he or she requires. The older ID gets automatically cancelled once a fresh one is generated.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has also introduced the concept of ‘limited KYC’ under which need-based or limited details of a user to an authorised agency would be provided. The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number linked to a person’s Aadhaar number and the Aadhaar-issuing body will start accepting it from March 1, 2018. It will be mandatory for all authorized agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from their users from 1st June onwards. In case of not following the new system of offering additional option to their users by the stipulated deadline, agencies will face undesirable actions.

UIDAI uses advanced security technologies to keep the data safe and secure and keeps upgrading them to meet emerging security threats and challenges. Aadhaar benefited the common man by empowering 119 crore Indians with a credible identity. Aadhaar inspires more confidence and trust than any other identity document in India. Due to the report of an alleged breach of the Aadhaar database published in a newspaper, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) decided to place new security mechanism protecting biometric Ids.


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