Amidst the ongoing debate on Aadhaar, Edward Snowden is the latest to voice concerns about the underlying vulnerability of the Aadhaar database. The development comes just two days after reports surfaced that Aadhaar numbers, along with the linked details, were being sold for as little as $7.8 (INR 500).
In response to Buzzfeed’s report on the recent breach, Snowden tweeted, “It is the natural tendency of government to desire perfect records of private lives. History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse.”
CBS journalist Zack Whittaker had earlier made a similar statement which read as follows, “ICYMI. India has a national ID database with the private information of nearly 1.2 Bn nationals. It has reportedly been breached. Admin accounts can be made and access can be sold to the database, reports BuzzFeed.”
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government body that issues Aadhaar, however, has continued to deny any breach of the Aadhaar database.
Defending the system’s security standards, the UIDAI stated in a press release, “Claims of bypassing or duping the Aadhaar enrolment system are totally unfounded. Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and has robust uncompromised security. The UIDAI data centres are an infrastructure of critical importance and is protected accordingly with high technology conforming to the best standards of security and also by legal provisions.”