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UIDAI allows Airtel Aadhaar re-verification till March 31

12 January 2018

Further, it can be revoked or a new one can be generated after a maximum validity period by a person who holds that Aadhaar number. "But services of 'global AUAs" will not be accessible through VID - for instance, you will have to provide your Aadhaar ID for a passport.

Datar also said he did not know what the Centre was doing and added that he was "clueless" about how a Virtual ID would help address the issue of privacy, especially in rural areas.

But the announcement of the virtual Aadhaar ID sure hints that something was broken earlier that UIDAI is now trying to fix. This is an effort to curb the number of people who will have access to the Aadhaar number. One can select to use the Virtual ID as many times as one wants, or keep generating a new one every time you have to share your unique ID. This comes after a Tribune exposed a breach in the Aadhaar database. For an authentication request by agencies, UIDAI will send a UID Token, which is a specific number that will remain the same for a specific agency but will be different for different entities.

A VID is a temporary 16-digit number which is mapped with the Aadhaar number.

The critics point out that "Aadhaar-issuing body (UIDAI) plans to split the third party authenticators (like telecom providers, banks, etc) into two groups and the virtual ID/limited KYC will be useful for only one of them".

The ID, along with the biometrics of the user, would give any authorized agency a limited detail, like name, address, and photograph of a person, which are enough for any verification.

The changes have again been met with various opinions, with critics calling it unworkable. Apart from the Virtual ID, it has also introduced another "Limited KYC" feature.

In a recent online survey, conducted by social engagement platform LocalCircles, 52% of the respondents said they feared that their Aadhaar data might not be safe from unauthorised access by hackers and information sellers.

"A five-member Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, set up in November 2017, is now hearing the petitions".

Some, however, welcomed the move.

"Aadhaar number holder can use Virtual ID in lieu of Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are performed".

"Aadhaar is here to stay!"

However, with even a tech-savvy public personality like Nandan Nilekani, in-charge of UIDAI from the beginning and the chief conceptual brain behind the entire Aadhaar project, making the cardinal mistake of publishing his Aadhaar details without estimating the consequences of the same, paints a sombre picture. "The loss to the economy and citizens in case of such an attack is bound to be incalculable", said the report by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology.

UIDAI will also be releasing necessary APIs (application programming interfaces) by March 1.

UIDAI allows Airtel Aadhaar re-verification till March 31