Over the past few months, various cases of Aadhaar ‘data disclosures’ or ‘data leaks’ have been reported. You may have been shocked by such types of reports. Don’t worry; your digital identity is still safe.
Myth – Aadhaar and other Universal IDs don’t have many benefits.
Fact – It is the medium to access government services in developed nations. So, we also need a Universal ID to make India a developed country.
Universal ID systems improve economic prosperity, efficiency and security of developed countries and to protect human rights and provide various benefits to the holders. A person ends up with problems in accessing public services like social benefits (such as access to pensions, rations, or cash transfers) and financial services (such as getting credit and capital or opening bank account). Services suffer from duplicates and fraud without verifiable and unique identification.
To establish a unique ID, Aadhaar has been designed by the UIDAI and chose biometrics to serve this purpose. Hence, Aadhaar is the unique and universal ID in India which is secured by all the residents.
Myth – Aadhaar is not mandatory as most of the individuals already have a voter ID.
Fact – Aadhaar provides much better and universal coverage to the individuals. It provides major benefits which are beyond a ration card or voter ID.
Before Aadhaar, the most common identity was voter ID (EPIC). But it was neither universal nor unique. For example, people who are underage cannot access it. Another most common reference used was ration card. It is a family document and has all the information of the head of the family and a list of family members with ages (exclusive of date of birth) at the time of issue. Ration card is useful only to identify the head of the family. In case of Aadhaar, everyone has a unique identity which is portable, verifiable electronically, and accepted across India. Check this online guide for linking aadhar to various documents:
Myth – One can steal your digital identity if you reveal your Aadhaar number to them.
Fact – Aadhaar is not the only document required to steal your digital identity. Just like someone who knows your credit card number or bank account number cannot steal your money.
Aadhaar number is not enough to conduct identity theft. It cannot be used to locate Aadhar database. So, it is not enough to steal biometric information. Any system which uses mobile OTP and/or biometric information and/or PIN/password based system as your authentication will be secured.
In some cases, data leaks revealed only demographic details like age, address and gender of the person linked to Aadhaar numbers. This information is provided in all KYC forms to open bank accounts and buy SIM cards and it is not enough to steal your digital identity.
However, it is best to keep your Aadhaar number private as an added security measure if your service provider is unable to keep a secure system which uses mobile OTP, biometric, or PIN/password based systems in terms of authentication. This is just like the reason you should keep your credit card or bank account number private.
Myth – Service is denied in failure of Aadhaar identification
Fact – Rightful beneficiaries can access the services even with failure of identification.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the PDS has made all the possible attempts to lower the failure rate down. In case of failure, an official ensures no beneficiary loses out on basic services. Monitoring and reducing exceptions is vital to avoid fraud but it shouldn’t deny the services.
Myth – Aadhaar will compromise security of private data.
Fact – Aadhaar Act doesn’t allow organization to share or use your Aadhaar data for any other purpose except its indicated application.
Private companies used to collect your personal data and your phone number goes in Truecaller without your information (with your name) as you are in the contact list of someone else. But with Aadhaar, your data is secured by the law.