The Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDAI) may be reportedly planning to add an extra security layer of dummy numbers to make the biometric identity Aadhar Card a little more secure, hopefully, soon.
Skeptism about whether the Aadhar Cards are secure have been giving hard times to the biometric id cards of India. Adding to that, reports today indicated that there was a leak of database and Aadhar details were publicly visible at over 200 bank branches! As Aadhar’s fate seems to be falling apart, the UIDAI is planning to add an extra security layer of dummy numbers on the Aadhar card. So the idea is that citizens will not need to share their original Aadhar numbers, instead, they can use the dummy number for authentication by banks, financial institutions, and other private utility providers. So with this, the original Aadhar number stays in with the just the original Aadhar card owner i.e. their own selves, and the UIDAI.
But, this isn’t official yet and it is still under talks at internal UIDAI level. The problem here is that if dummy numbers will be provided to Aadhar cards, the sole idea of ‘unique identification’ could be lost. The essence of Aadhar is to provide a single unique identification platform for identification and verification of their personal details and identity – nationwide. But if dummy numbers will be provided, there will be new numbers generated for each verification and it will make the entire process a lot messier. And more importantly, it will make it way too difficult to trace any person or their activities – making it all the same, all over again.
What if a permanent dummy number is allotted instead of a new one every now and then? Not an option, because then there will be no point in generating a number – it will just mean giving two numbers to one Aadhaar id, keeping it equally vulnerable. So the dummy number has to be dynamic – something like OTP system, so that the original Aadhar number of any individual can be masked off. But again, absence of a single unique number will make it impossible to trace back the user and chances of misuse will bolster. But let’s see what the UIDAI think-tanks decide and what new announcement they will have next.