UIDAI rubbishes report claiming massive Aadhaar data breach

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has refuted a report by The Tribune newspaper that claimed to have gained access to the entire Aadhaar database for just Rs 500.

As per a report in The Tribune, a WhatsApp group sold all Aadhaar data available with UIDAI for a meager sum of Rs 500. The reporter joined a WhatsApp group and paid Rs 500 via Paytm to it. Later, one of its agents gave an ID and password to its reporter. The ID and password gave them access to any Aadhaar number. With an additional fee of Rs 300, they gave them Aadhaar printing software.

The report also claimed that there were around one lakh illegal users and the racket might have started six months ago. The ET.com has not verified the authenticity of the report.

“Tribune’s Story “Rs 500, 10 minutes, and you have access to billion Aadhaar details” is a case of misreporting. No biometric data breach,” the UIDAI tweeted.

It said some persons had misused demographic search facility which was given to designated officials to help residents who had lost Aadhaar/enrollment slip to retrieve their details.

According to UIDAI, it maintains complete logs and traceability of the facility, and any misuse is traceable. “Legal action taken, including FIR against persons involved. Search facility gives limited access to name & other details, has no access to biometric details,” it said.

“There has not been any data breach of biometric database which remains fully safe & secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic info cannot be misused without biometrics,” it tweeted.