The UIDAI has restricted the access of nearly 5,000 designated officials from the Aadhaar portal after it was revealed earlier in a report that Aadhaar details could be obtained for only Rs 500. Earlier state governments had authorised certain officials to view details of an Aadhaar card holder to make changes more easily as, reportedly, UIDAI gets over 500,000 daily requests for changes.
Now the new system, according to an Economic Times report, prevents this kind of access to the officials and only allows the details to be viewed by the specific user after he/she has authenticated using the registered fingerprint. UIDAI has reportedly denied that its security protocols were compromised and also filed an FIR against the reporter or the paper.
The UIDAI, according to the report, has also enforced some other security measures so that this alleged breach does not occur again. For the last six months UIDAI has reportedly encouraged private operators to shift into government buildings and while 4,000 centres have moved, another 26,000 are in the process of doing so. Also, the report claims that all telecom operators using Aadhaar authentication for registering subscribers have been advised to use biometric devices that are UIDAI-registered.
The Tribune, which had reported this incident, claimed that unauthorised Aadhaar breaches might have been occurring for the last six months and that it might have nearly 100,000 illegal users. The Indian Express reported that an unnamed deputy director has filed the FIR under Indian Penal Code Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) against the accused.
UIDAI had earlier said that it had given search facility for the purpose of grievance redressal to designated personnel and state government officials to help residents by entering their 12-digit Aadhaar numbers.