"I do not have an opinion on this". The VID can be used for authentication instead of the actual 12-digit Aadhaar number.
From June 1, 2018 it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from their users. However, the questions remain about how the Limited KYC will work and how the virtual Aadhaar IDs will be generated.
When applying for a new phone number, for example, the consumer need not share his/her Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. It is reported by the media sources that virtual ID will be a 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. The UIDAI will also set a minimum validity period for Virtual ID and the users would be able to replace their ID from time to time. Though the Aadhaar matter comes up for hearing before a constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on January 17, the two pieces of news, related in a way, tell us what's the stance of the UIDAI is going to be despite mounting evidence of Aadhaar's shaky, leaky structure.
The UIDAI has also introduced Limited KYC (Know Your Customer) and UID Tokens, in an attempt to assuage privacy and security concerns about the misuse of Aadhaar numbers.
As the row over alleged breach of Aadhaar raged, the Centre on Thursday said innovations happening in the country can not be killed under the "garb of privacy" even as the scheme's architect Nandan Nilekani felt there was an "orchestrated campaign" to malign it.
"Aadhaar commenced to enable RESIDENTS of India to access basic services thru an identity". So most people's Aadhaar numbers are probably available in the open.
He was alluding to the fact that for many purposes authorities have asked for Aadhaar number in the past. Simultaneously, it has further regulated the storage of the Aadhaar number within various databases. Aadhaar authentication is the process by which an Aadhaar holder's Aadhaar number along with the demographic information or biometric information is submitted to the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) for verification.
Data security concerns surrounding the government's Aadhaar project have generated a lot of heated public debate in the past few years.
"And at that time, it was felt that let us first give Aadhaar number, let us see how it plays out and then, at an appropriate time, this will be introduced", he said.
Following the reports, the UIDAI also filed a case against the news agency - The Tribune. Subsequently, UIDAI temporarily barred Airtel and its payments bank service from using Aadhaar to verify users.
The new security measures come a day after a report from a research institute affiliated with the Reserve Bank of India labeled the database "a prime target". The latest security breach was exposed by The Tribune, where Aadhaar details could be bought on WhatsApp for just Rs 500.