To prevent abuse, the central government has asked residents to distribute only masked copies of their Aadhaar cards. The government clarified in a news release on Sunday, “UIDAI issued Aadhaar card holders are only advised to exercise normal prudence in using and sharing their UIDAI Aadhaar numbers.”
As per the release on 27 May, Unlicensed private enterprises, such as hotels and movie theaters, are also prohibited from collecting or keeping duplicates of Aadhaar cards, according to a notice issued by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The government declared, “Only those organizations that have secured a User License from the Unique Identification Authority of India can use Aadhaar for proving a person’s identification.”
Citizens should check that an organization has a valid User License from UIDAI before sharing their Aadhaar cards with them, according to the government.
Furthermore, the government has advised citizens not to download their Aadhaar cards from public computers or internet cafés. “If you do so, please ensure that you delete all the downloaded copies of e-Aadhaar permanently from that computer,” the government advisory says
Our Opinion: So, what does this mean?
We believe, the Government has asked citizens to be cautious while sharing Aadhaar card details. On a daily basis, we see most of the KYC document sharing happening via apps such as instant messengers. The KYC documents are shared just like any normal file or message without being cautious.
The representatives of organisations handling KYC tasks, ask these documents to be shared in a careless manner, and in a similar manner they are shared by citizens too. Who saves these files where, and what purpose they are actually being used is a matter of concern. Although the system (SOPs) needs to be foolproof, and that’s a different story, we as citizens need to be cautious on sharing such documents.
As photocopies of unmasked/original Aadhaar contain the complete Aadhaar number, we believe the Government must have asked to avoid sharing the photo/xerox copies and start using masked Aadhaar. Though this has stirred a confusion, it is also our duty to be self aware.
The Government has cautioned citizens to share Aadhaar number only where required as cited above in 2,3,4 paragraphs, and a through knowledge of its purpose and utilization is necessary.
Share Masked Aadhaar:
One can download a masked copy of Aadhaar that only reveals the last 4 digits of your Aadhaar number and contains a 16 digit VID. VID is a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. VID can be used in lieu of Aadhaar number. You can download the masked Aadhaar from UIDAI website or get VID via SMS.
Know the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary:
As per the Cambridge dictionary definition :
Voluntary: done, made, or given willingly, without being forced or paid to do it
Involuntary: not done by choice; done unwillingly, or without the decision or intention of the person involved
We get to hear a lot of usage surrounding the word voluntary, but things seem to happen differently.
For example: If a certain ID proof – ‘X’ is voluntary, you can avail all other services except benefit schemes without ‘X’. But if you need ‘X’ even to prove your existence or avail a basic service then it is not considered voluntary. So, knowing this basic difference will be of some help.
We believe, there is a lot that needs to be analysed, discussed, debated and aligned. But for now, with the advise from govt let us all be careful about usage and sharing of KYC documents.