Multiple claims by the government about the security of Aadhaar data is turning out as farce. Indeed, a complete farce! After several reports about leakage of 12-digit biometric data, a journalist of The Tribune has got unrestricted access to Aadhaar details of more than a billion citizens in just Rs 500.
The journalist got access to details such as name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email. After payment of additional Rs 300, the journalist was provided with software to have easy access to print Aadhaar card of any individual.
The journalist was made an Enrolment Agency Administrator for CSC SPV without any authentication.
However, UIDAI officials in Chandigarh expressed shock over the complete access of Aadhaar data. They also admitted it as a major national security breach.
“Except the Director-General and I, no third person in Punjab should have a login access to our official portal. Anyone else having access is illegal, and is a major national security breach,” said Sanjay Jindal, Additional Director-General, UIDAI Regional Centre, Chandigarh to The Tribune.
Further investigation by the publication reveals that the racket selling Aadhaar data may have surfaced six months ago with multiple anonymous groups on WhatsApp.
Such groups targeted over 3 lakh village-level enterprise (VLE) operators hired by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (ME&IT) under the Common Service Centres Scheme (CSCS) across the country, offering them access to UIDAI data.
Another follow-up report by The Quint revealed that anyone can become admins of the official Aadhaar database and can make anyone admin of the portal..
In July last year, Reliance Jio users’ data had been leaked by a website called magicapk.com. The site threw up data such as first and last name, email id, mobile number, date of SIM card activation and which circle it was activated from.
Recently, social media behemoth Facebook had clarified that it is only trying to encourage new users to use their real names, not link its users’ accounts to their Aadhaar numbers. Last month, Facebook started prompt test for new users, asking their name as on Aadhaar.