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Committed towards secure, citizen-friendly performance: UIDAI

A villager goes through the process of a fingerprint scanner for the Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan February 22, 2013. In a more ambitious version of programmes that have slashed poverty in Brazil and Mexico, the Indian government has begun to use the UID database, known as Aadhaar, to make direct cash transfers to the poor, in an attempt to cut out frauds who siphon billions of dollars from welfare schemes. Picture taken February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY POVERTY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

New Delhi [India]: Dismissing reports of alleged breach of Aadhaar data, misuse of biometrics, breach of privacy and creation of parallel databases, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has stressed on the safety of personal data of individuals held by it.

The UIDAI in a statement highlighted its advanced encryption technologies in transmission and storage of data. As a result, there has been no report of breach or leak of residents’ data out of UIDAI during the last seven years, the statement adds.

The UIDAI is continuously updating its security parameters looking at the new threats in cyber space. It also undertakes security audits and takes necessary steps to augment its security features. Installation of registered devices for capturing and encrypting biometrics data is underway, which will enhance the safety of the Aadhaar system.

With reference to an incident of misuse of biometrics reported in a newspaper, the UIDAI said it is an isolated case of an employee working with a bank’s Business Correspondent’s company making an attempt to misuse his own biometrics which was detected by its internal security system and subsequently actions have been initiated under the Aadhaar Act.

Aadhaar authentication or e-KYC is only available to authorised agencies whose appointment, responsibilities, statutory obligations, penal provisions for contraventions are clearly provided for in the Aadhaar Act and the regulations framed hereunder.

Banks or mobile operators have to become UIDAI’s AUA/ASAs to obtain E-KYC data of their customers from UIDAI. The E-KYC data can be given by UIDAI to these agencies only after they obtain consent of their customers and can be used only for the purpose for which it was obtained.

An important tool of good governance and empowerment of people, Aadhaar has helped more than 4.47 crore people to open bank accounts through Aadhaar E-KYC. It has enabled the government to do Direct Benefit Transfer under various schemes such as LPG Subsidy under Pahal, Scholarships, MNREGA, and pensions directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries eliminating corruption, diversion, and leakages by middlemen etc.

The government has through Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfers saved over Rs. 49,000 crore during the last two and a half years. Aadhaar-based Public Distributions System is benefitting the people by ensuring that food grain entitlement are given only to the deserving beneficiaries and not cornered by unscrupulous and corrupt elements. (ANI)