I won the Aadhaar challenge, no harm caused to me: Trai chief RS Sharma
Outgoing Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman RS Sharma said he won the ‘Aadhaar challenge’ he threw on Twitter, claiming that no harm has come to him from revealing his number.Updated: Aug 09, 2018 09:20 IST
Outgoing Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman RS Sharma said he won the ‘Aadhaar challenge’ he threw on Twitter, claiming that no harm has come to him from revealing his number.
“I have won the Aadhaar challenge as no harm has been caused to me with my Aadhaar number yet,” Sharma said 11 days after he asked people to show him one way they could cause him ‘real harm’ with the knowledge of his number.
Sharma had come under severe criticism from Aadhaar and privacy experts for throwing such a challenge, which many people replicated on Twitter.
The former founding chief executive of UIDAI said he threw the challenge to allay fears against the 12-digit unique ‘Aadhaar’ number’s susceptibility to cause personal harm.
“I reiterate that sharing Aadhaar number does not increase your digital vulnerabilities. Aadhaar has no flaws. What people needed is an assurance that sharing your Aadhaar number will not make people more digitally vulnerable than they already are. That’s the idea,” Sharma said.
On July 28, Sharma published his Aadhaar number on social media website Twitter, challenging people to show how they could cause ‘real harm’ by merely knowing his Aadhaar number.
Although Twitter users revealed his email ID and password, bank account details, phone number, home address, UIDAI had said all the information was in fact available online. The Authority later also issued an advisory warning people not to make their Aadhaar numbers public.
Sharma said TRAI would not take any steps to intervene in lynchings caused by fake news over WhatsApp. “TRAI doesn’t regulate content. It is not within my remit,” he said, adding TRAI maintains that browsers, applications and operating systems like‘pipes’, in the sense they are the telecom network through which content is exchanged. TRAI would not regulate the content of these pipes or the pipes themselves.
“We are only regulators, we don’t do anything,” he said.
After a stand-off between TRAI and iPhone-maker Apple on the latter’s refusal to include TRAI’s application allowing users to report and block unsolicited calls and messages simmered last week, reports said Apple agreed to include the features in its operating system.
“TRAI is not into app development. Our regulation clearly says you can use either the TRAI app, any third party app, or even the operating system can provide the functionality,” he said. “So don’t view this as a prestige issue between TRAI and some operator... It has been resolved.”
First Published: Aug 09, 2018 07:10 IST