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Measures insufficient to ensure Aadhaar data safety

Author: Debasis Mohapatra/Friday, January 12, 2018/Categories: Government

Measures insufficient to ensure Aadhaar data safety

Mumbai: Investors remain perplexed over Aadhaar data breach and are concerned that the measures taken by the government to ensure data safety may not be adequate to ensure privacy.

However, financial planners have also pointed out that despite negative news flow regarding Aadhaar, investors are not reluctant to share the data for completing Know Your Customer (KYC) process.

“After reports of data breach, now the measures taken up by the government are merely gestural. Aadhaar data leaked is already in the public domain and anyone can use or misuse it. So, it is a glorious public relation exercise, where the government is trying to cover up the issue,” Convener of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties, Gopal Krishna told The Finapolis.  

“Generating virtual IDs will not ensure the data safety,” he added.

Post data breach reports, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which is administering Aadhaar, has launched a series of measures to ensure data safety. As part of this initiative, a virtual ID will be generated for users, which will help in completing authentication, it said on Wednesday. As the Aadhaar number will not be revealed by an individual, chances of manipulation will be minimal.

The UIDAI has also introduced a feature of limited KYC for its authentication agencies to restrict full access of the demographic data.

Reacting on this issue, Rohit Grover, a financial planner at Mumbai-based advisory firm MoneyFrog, said recent reports on Aadhaar leak has definitely spooked investors but his firm has not faced any instances where investors refuse to share Aadhaar data for completing KYC process.

“Any data breach is a matter of concern. But, it has happened from the UIDAI website not from the end of any third party,” Grover said. He also said that despite recent events, investors are not shying away from giving Aadhaar data during KYC process. “We haven’t come across any such instances,” he added.

Meanwhile, investors feel that a data privacy law is the need of the hour to prevent such breaches.

“Lack of data privacy law is one the major reasons behind such data breach. While Aadhaar is very good initiative but without data security, it could turn into a potential disaster,” Vishal Sharma, a Mumbai-based private sector employee, said.

Notably, use of Aadhaar has significantly reduced a large number of bogus users in various government schemes. According to the government, around Rs 60,000 crore was saved under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme due to Aadhaar linkage.   

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