As the Supreme Court (SC) of India, on March 13, extended the Aadhaar linking deadline in non-social related matters till the final decision is in, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey has clarified that either Aadhaar or its enrolment ID is still essential for getting new SIM or Passports.
Recently, while social media were abuzz with the Aadhaar’s biometric data leaks, Ajay Bhushan stated, in an interview, that after the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 came into effect, UIDAI had asked each and every state to destroy their copy of biometric data of Aadhaar.
Confirming the same, the UIDAI CEO averred that the UIDAI has already received certificates from state governments pertaining to the eradication of their own copies of Aadhaar’s biometric data.
It is also worth noting here that some states like Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are running their own biometric programmes, as part of which these states have the biometric data of their residents.
Speaking of the Aadhaar encryption, Ajay Bhushan stated, “The encryption that we have is 2048 bits. Normally, in a digital signature, you have an encryption of 256 bits. So, we are almost eight times higher. Now, when you try to break this encryption. The fastest computer on earth will require more than the age of the universe to break this.”
On the Aadhaar number leakage, the UIDAI CEO insisted that by knowing someone’s Aadhaar number, another person can do nothing as it would need biometrics or OTPs to take benefit of the same. So, the system is secure, unless and until the person is also compromised.
Meanwhile, the SC’s decision to extend Aadhaar linking deadline indefinitely did not go well with digital payments companies, as this has created confusion in the digital payments sector, especially since the RBI refused to extend the deadline.
As earlier reported by Inc42, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had refused to extend the deadline for KYC (Know Your Customer) beyond February 28, 2018, stating that “enough time has already been granted to adhere the prescribed guidelines.” Notably, the completion of the KYC involves linking of Aadhaar card and PAN card to the e-wallet mobile applications.