Aadhaar database has never been breached since its existence: UIDAI
The UIDAI also rejected the notion that it could track activities of Aadhaar card holders.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the agency that oversees Aadhaar, said that the users' data is safe and secure, and that reports of Aadhaar data breach are misleading.
"Aadhaar database has never been breached during the last 7 years of its existence. Data of all Aadhaar holders is safe and secure. Stories around Aadhaar breach are mostly cases of misleading reporting. UIDAI uses advanced technology to keep your data safe and secure and keeps upgrading them to meet emerging security threats and challenges," said the agency in detailed FAQs on Tuesday.
The agency also denied that it could track activities of users.
"UIDAI database has only minimal information that you give at the time of enrolment or updation. This includes: (a) Your name, address, gender, date of birth (b) Ten fingerprints, two IRIS scans, facial photograph (c) Mobile number & email ID."
"Rest assured, UIDAI does not have your information about bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, financial and property details, health records, family, caste, religion, education etc, and will never have this information in its database."
"In fact, Section 32 (3) of the Aadhaar Act 2016 specifically prohibits UIDAI from controlling, collecting, keeping or maintaining any information about the purpose of authentication either by itself or through any entity."
Safe and secure
The latest comments from the UIDAI come amidst efforts to improve the security and adoption of Aadhaar in the country. The agency of late is working to improve the security layers by introducing options such as Virtual ID. For ease of use, it has introduced face-recognition-based authentication for Aadhaar users.
The agency has come under a wide scanner after reports of unauthorised access to data of Aadhaar users.
The Tribune newspaper claimed earlier this month that it acquired login credentials to the Aadhaar database through anonymous sellers for just ₹500. The data included information such as the names, telephone numbers and home addresses of Aadhaar card holders.
The UIDAI filed a case against the journalist and three others named in the Tribune report. The move led to wide criticism with many accusing the agency and the government to curb free speech.