Aadhaar data safe, has helped save Rs 49,000 crore, says UIDAI
Personal data of individuals held by UIDAI under Aadhaar is secure and there has been no misuse of biometrics leading to identity theft or financial loss, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) said in a statement.
UIDAI’s statement comes amidst concerns about data breaches in Aadhaar when the government is pushing digital transactions post the demonetisation exercise that saw old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes being banned and also the Supreme Court is poised to debate concerns on privacy. The anxiety about data theft was spurred by a reported case regarding Axis Bank, Mudra and eSuvidha.
On February 15, UIDAI filed a police complaint against Axis Bank Ltd, business correspondent Suvidhaa Infoserve, and e-sign provider eMudhra, alleging they had attempted unauthorised authentication and impersonation by illegally storing Aadhaar biometrics.
The anamoly was detected after UIDAI found multiple transactions done with the same fingerprint. However, Axis Bank had blamed Suvidhaa, claiming that a developer from there carried out four live Aadhaar-based authentications even when the testing phase for them was on.
Later, Suvidhaa said there had been no financial loss. “The testing was done by our in-house team but there has been no financial loss as of now. We will submit our report to UIDAI on Monday,” Paresh Rajde, chief executive officer of Suvidhaa, said.
But in the new statement UIDAI claims Aadhaar is a robust system and in the last five years, when more than 400 crore Aadhaar authentication transactions have taken place, no incident of misuse of biometrics has occurred. The statement also said it resulted in “savings of over Rs 49,000 crore due to Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfers during the last two and a half years.”