You don't need to share your Aadhaar number with anyone

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It means that a 16-digit temporary number will be used instead of the Aadhaar number.

While "global authentication user agencies" will get to access the entire KYC gamut and the Aadhaar number, smaller, local authentication agencies will be given the virtual IDs.

The Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) has extended the temporary permission it gave to Bharti Airtel for using biometric identity for re-verification of its mobile customers, till March 31. On March 11, it was reported that UIDAI was allowing Airtel to continue Aadhaar-based e-KYC verification of telecom subscribers till March 31, but has not withdrawn the current eKYC licence suspension order on its banking arm. 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.

The UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India has introduced an optional method of Aadhaar authentication.

Agencies that undertake the authentication process would not be allowed to generate the virtual ID on behalf of the user.

To avoid the chance of an Authentication User Agency (AUA) misusing access to the massive database with the Aadhaar details of a billion people, the UIDAI has split them into two-Global AUAs and Local AUAs.

The move by the authority came after the reports in media surfaced claiming that personal data of millions of Aadhaar users could be easily accessed by breaching into the system.

While granting the temporary reprieve to Airtel in December, UIDAI had instructed the firm to use the e-KYC and authentication service only for the objective of re-verification and issuance of SIM cards and not for obtaining consent of the Aadhaar holder for opening bank accounts, wallets, DTH or any other goods or services.

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The VID will be 16-digit random number mapped with your Aadhaar number.

Vipin Nair, one of the advocates representing the petitioners who have challenged the Aadhaar Act in the Supreme Court said, "It is potentially a case of unmitigated chaos purely from an Information Technology perspective". The idea is to minimise sharing of the actual Aadhaar number or demographic information.

"They should re-issue the compromised Aadhaar IDs and revoke the existing KYCs", he says.

The deadline for this security layer is the same as that for VIDs, i.e. June 1. All agencies that are registered to authenticate identities need to start shifting to the new system by 28 March.

"Aadhaar is here to stay!"

Simultaneously, it has further regulated the storage of the Aadhaar number within various databases, he added.

UIDAI will share updated API/technical documents, guidelines, and conduct workshops / training sessions for AUAs/KUAs to ensure smooth and timely implementation.

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