In a bid to de-spell the allegations of vulnerable Aadhaar database, the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told in the Supreme Court that the biometric details of individuals were not shared with anyone and it was almost impossible to break its encryption even by the fastest computers.
Trying to clear the “misgivings” on Aadhaar regarding the security and privacy, the Centre government that the UIDAI doesn’t share biometric details of residents with anyone and that it will take the fastest computer currently available “more than the life of the universe” to break its 2048-bit encryption. The claim comes in middle of Supreme Court hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the biometric identity card and the Aadhaar act. However, it was the first time that a senior official made power-point presentation before the Supreme Court in such a manner, given by UIDAI chief Ajay Bhushan Pandey and will resume his presentation on March 27.
On Thursday, Pandey said, “Aadhaar provides a robust, lifetime, reusable, nationally on-line verifiable ID card to citizens. Biometrics is never given out. Our software is such that the moment the resident presses the save key, entire data gets encrypted by the 2048-bit key. To break one key, the fastest computer in the world will take more than the life of the universe.” Pandey also said that Aadhaar software was not linked to Internet because the government was aware that some people might hack it. Explaining further, he added this was like SAP or Oracle, used by banks and financial institutions under licence from foreign companies that own it.
Asserting that UIDAI had “zero tolerance policy” towards corruption, Pandey said some of the enrolment centres were blacklisted as they were charging money from individuals and harassing them. This was in response to several questions asked by the bench of justices – AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, about security and protection of data collected at enrolment centres, fear of data theft as the software used was foreign and blacklisting 49,000 enrolment centres by the UIDAI.