UIDAI denies info relating to former chief was accessed from its database
30 July 2018
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asserted that its database is totally safe and that it has “proven its security robustness over the last eight years.”
The UIDAI’s assertion comes in the wake of RS Sharma, the outgoing chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) – and who was head of UIDAI between 2009 and 2013 – releasing his 12-digit unique Aadhaar number on Twitter with a challenge to anyone to access his private information by using the 12-digit biometric ID.
Sharma’s move appears to have misfired as several people responded on Twitter, even claiming to have dug up his photographs, mobile number, residential address, date of birth and even chat-related threads.
One hacker claimed to have deposited Re1 into Sharma’s bank account using the Bhim mobile app. “My donation to @rssharma3's aadhaar via BHIM to build Govt systems with better engineering to protect user privacy. You can also join in this #DonateToRSS / #GiveToRamSewak drive,” tweeted an ‘internet researcher.’
Reacting to reports that Sharma’s personal information was hacked after he posted his Aadhaar number on Twitter, UIDAI was quick to deny the charges.
“Aadhaar database is fully safe and secure and no such information about Mr Sharma has been fetched from UIDAI’s servers or Aadhaar database. This is merely cheap publicity by these unscrupulous elements who try to attract attention by creating such fake news.”
UIDAI also pointed out that “this so-called 'hacked' information was already available in the public domain as he has been a public servant for decades and was easily available on Google and various other sites without Aadhaar number.” According to it, all such claims were “a motivated attempt to malign the authority behind the Aadhaar programme.”
The UIDAI further added, “Can anyone demand on this basis that PAN number is unsafe and should be abolished? Or, can say that it is the online world and online search, which help gather information from different sources and create a profile and therefore, online search should be prohibited?”
While the UIDAI emphasised the need for personal data protection, an expert panel headed by Justice Srikrishna, former Supreme Court judge, last week submitted a report and the draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 to the government (See: Sensitive personal data should be processed in India: Srikrishna panel).