The central government recently had advised people not to share photocopies of their Aadhaar with any organisation because it could be misused.
“Unlicensed private entities like hotels or film halls are not permitted to collect or keep copies of Aadhaar cards,” it said.
It later withdrew the caution as according to the ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), it could lead to misinterpretation.
The new statement said the Aadhaar ecosystem had adequate features to protect the identity and privacy of users, and that users are only advised to exercise “normal prudence”.
So, what are some of the security tips you can follow to further protect your data? Read here:
- Download Aadhaar card only from official website and not on public computers: Users must ensure that they download their Aadhaar card only from the website of Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI. They also need to avoid using a public computer to download the e-Aadhaar.
- Lock Aadhaar online: Users can lock their Aadhaar biometrics using mAadhaar app or click on the link: https://resident.uidai.gov.in/aadhaar-lockunlock to prevent any possible misuse. A VID or Virtual ID is required to lock/unlock Aadhaar data. VID is a revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number and can be retrieved by sending an SMS to the Aadhaar helpline number 1947.
- Use masked Aadhaar: A masked Aadhaar is nothing more than an extra layer of protection on your Aadhaar card that masks your Aadhaar number in your downloaded e-Aadhaar and only shows the last four digits of your Aadhaar number. You can go to https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/genricDownloadAadhaar to get your masked Aadhaar.
- Sync updated mobile number with Aadhaar: Ensure that you have linked your mobile number and email ID with your Aadhaar card. You can check if yours is updated on the UIDAI website.
- Verify your Aadhaar: You can verify the Aadhaar card shared with you both online and offline. To verify offline, scan the QR code on e-Aadhaar or Aadhaar letter or Aadhaar PVC card. To verify online, enter the 12-digit Aadhaar on the link: https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/verifyAadhaar.
The Aadhaar card, which has a unique number tied to an individual’s fingerprints, face and eye scan, aims to block theft and leakage in India’s welfare schemes.
The supreme Court in 2018 upheld the validity of the Aadhaar, but flagged privacy concerns and reined in a government push to make it mandatory for everything from banking to telecom services.