Masterstroke to end Aadhaar controversy! Government introduces ‘Virtual ID’ and why this is a game changer

Finally, the government has decided to put an end to all the controversies related to the Aadhar card. Even though there were hardly any problems and evidence to prove that Aadhar card invaded the privacy of Indians, the Congress-led opposition was successful in terrifying the Indians.

So the government has unleashed a masterstroke that will prevent the alleged misuse of Aadhar cards in the future. the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday introduced a new concept of ‘Virtual ID’ which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.

What the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) circular said?

“Aadhaar number holder can use Virtual ID in lieu of Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are performed. Authentication may be performed using the Virtual ID in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number”.

  • From June 1, 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from their users.
  • Virtual ID, together with biometrics of the user would give any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification. It will not be possible to locate your #Aadhaar based on this ID.

Why is this a game changer?

  • Henceforth, the users will get an option of not sharing their  Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.
  • A user can generate as many Virtual ID’s as he or she wants.
  • The older ID gets automatically cancelled once a fresh one is generated.
  • The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number and the Aadhaar-issuing body will start accepting it from March 1, 2018.
  • From June 1, 2018 it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from their users.
  • Financial disincentives will be faced by the “Agencies” that don’t migrate to the new system to offer this additional option.

How to generate the ‘Virtual ID’?

  • Users can go to the UIDAI website to generate their virtual ID which will be valid for a defined period of time, or till the user decides to change it.
  • They can give this Virtual ID to service agencies along with the fingerprint at the time of authentication.
  • Since the system generated Virtual ID will be mapped to an individual’s Aadhaar number itself at the back end, it will do with the need for the user to share Aadhaar number for authentication.

Other than the user, the agencies cannot generate virtual ID!

Agencies that undertake authentication would not be allowed to generate the Virtual ID on behalf of Aadhaar holder, said the UIDAI.

  • UIDAI has been mandated to issue based identity number Aadhar to eligible residents of India.
  • The first Aadhaar number was issued on 20 September 2010 and till now more than 119 crore Aadhar numbers have been issued.
  • The coverage of almost whole of the population has led to the acceptability and use of Aadhar as a universal and a primary identity proof of the residents by the government as well as non-government entities.

Here is the circular of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)!

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Hansika Raj