Update: We have removed the 12 digit Aadhaar number of R.S Sharma from the headline.
Debate around constitutional validity of Aadhaar has become intense for over past several months as the apex court is slated to take a final ruling on it soon.
While government and bureaucrats have been defending the mandatory enforcement of Aadhaar in state run schemes and for proving identity, many activists and citizens believe that 12 digit biometric would be harmful to citizen’s privacy.
Defending the government stance on Aadhaar, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R.S. Sharma had said that Aadhaar does not violate privacy and the government has a right to create such a database of residents since it gives subsidies.
“Tell me what harm can you do to me if you have my Aadhaar details? I will give you my Aadhaar number if you like,” Sharma, told ThePrint in an interview.
Responding to Sharma claim, a Twitter handle by name @kingslyj asked Sharma to walk the talk and reveal his Aadhaar number.
Walk your talk @rssharma3!
Publish your Aadhaar details to the public if you have so much trust in this 13ft wall secured system.https://t.co/oZevZyqosN
— @kingslyj (@kingslyj) July 28, 2018
Soon after the challenge threw to him over Twitter, RS Sharma made his 12 digit biometric number public on the micro blogging site.
My Aadhaar number is 7621 7768 2740
Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me!
— RS Sharma (@rssharma3) July 28, 2018
Six months ago, a Twitter handle had exposed that anyone in possession of an Aadhaar number can know the last bank the number was linked to by simply dialing a number given out by the UIDAI itself.
Although the feature doesn’t reveal the account number except for the bank’s name, privacy experts raise question over sharing private details with others.
Earlier this week, Infosys co-founder and serial entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani said that he would not mind if the Supreme Court rules Aadhaar as non-mandatory for citizens of the country.
While the final verdict by apex court on making UIDAI mandatory for citizens is awaited, Sharma seems to have scored a brownie point over detractors of Aadhaar.
Sharma is being reportedly considered as a leading contender to head the yet to be constituted data protection authority.