Want to protect your Aadhaar biometrics from misuse? Here are 2 ways to lock it

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in its latest tweets has said that one can use the virtual ID (VID) number – also known as ‘Masked Aadhaar’ instead of the original 12-digit Aadhaar number, citing that the former is valid and accepted widely.
Aadhaar biometrics can be locked either by visiting the UIDAI portal or via the 'mAadhaar' mobile application.
Aadhaar biometrics can be locked either by visiting the UIDAI portal or via the 'mAadhaar' mobile application.
Updated on Jul 19, 2021 09:48 AM IST
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Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Aadhaar card is one of the most vital documents that any Indian has, and lately, the central government has made it mandatory to link the same with several other personal identification documents such as passport, driving license, and others. The importance of Aadhaar card lies in the fact that it comprises biometric details, apart from demographic ones, which involves an individual’s fingerprints, photo identity, and even iris details. Therefore, it is even more significant to safeguard these unique details, especially if one’s Aadhaar card gets misplaced and falls into the wrong hands.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has addressed this issue in their latest tweets, and have even rendered a solution for users to avoid such a fate. As per the UIDAI, the 12-digit Aadhaar number can be locked and instead a 16-digit virtual ID (VID) number – also known as ‘Masked Aadhaar’ can be used for all kinds of identification purposes. The VID is “valid and accepted widely,” the UIDAI said in a Twitter post on Thursday. For this, one needs to download the e-Aadhaar card.

Once the user has received the VID, the next step is to lock the Aadhaar biometrics. The UIDAI in another Twitter post on Friday stated that the locking and unlocking of Aadhaar biometrics can be done in two ways – either by visiting the official website of UIDAI or by using the ‘mAadhaar’ mobile application. This, according to UIDAI, will prevent “misuse” of one’s biometric information by anyone.

How to lock Aadhaar biometrics via the UIDAI website?

Step 1: Visit the UIDAI website at uidai.gov.in.

Step 2: Under ‘My Aadhaar’ category, look for ‘Aadhaar Services’, and click on ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’.

Step 3: In the required field, enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number (UID). After that, enter your full name as per the Aadhaar card, and also enter the pincode details.

Step 4: Enter the security code as reflected on the screen to proceed further.

Step 5: Click on ‘Send OTP’ that will help you get the one-time password in your registered mobile number.

Step 6: Once the OTP comes in, enter the same along with a password of your choice.

Step 7: Click the check box beside ‘Enable Biometric Locking’ and then hit the ‘enable’ button again. This will lock your Aadhaar card biometrics.

How to lock Aadhaar biometrics via mobile SMS?

Step 1: Users need to send an SMS to 1947 to request an OTP on their registered mobile number. The SMS should be written as GETOTP and the last four or eight digits of the Aadhaar number – for example, GETOTPXXXX or GETOTPXXXXXXXX.

Step 2: Once the user sends this message, UIDAI will send the individual a 6-digit OTP via SMS.

Step 3: After receiving the OTP, the user needs to send yet another message using the OTP. The message needs to be written as LOCKUID along with the last four or eight digits of the Aadhaar number, and the 6-digit OTP – for example, LOCKUIDXXXXOTP or LOCKUIDXXXXXXXXOTP

Step 4: A confirmation message will then be delivered on the registered mobile number of the user, citing that the Aadhaar biometrics have been locked.

The unlocking process via SMS consists of the same steps. However, in all the steps, instead of the digits of the Aadhaar number, the last six or 10 digits of the VID number will be required.

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