The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday introduced ‘Virtual ID’ (VID) to safeguard Aadhaar cardholders’ data. VID will be a 16-digit, randomly-generated number which can be used for authentication instead of the original Aadhaar number, according to UIDAI.
This is how VID works: VID will be a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. It will not be possible to derive Aadhaar number from VID. “Last digit of the VID is the checksum using ‘Verhoeff’ algorithm as in Aadhaar number. There will be only one active and valid VID for an Aadhaar number at any given time,” the UIDAI said in a statement.
The “Verhoeff” algorithm is a checksum formula for error detection developed by the Dutch mathematician Jacobus Verhoeff and was first published in 1969. Aadhaar number holder can use VID in lieu of Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are performed. Authentication may be performed using VID in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number.
“VID, by design being temporary, cannot be used by agencies for de-duplication. VID is revocable and can be replaced by a new one by Aadhaar number holder after the minimum validity period set by UIDAI policy,” the authority added. VID can be generated only by the Aadhaar number holder. They can also replace (revoke and generate new one) their VID from time to time after the UIDAI set minimum validity period.
“UIDAI will provide various options to Aadhaar number holders to generate their VID, retrieve their VID in case they forget, and replace their VID with a new number. These options will be made available via UIDAI’s resident portal, Aadhaar Enrollment Center and mAaadhaar mobile application, etc,” the authority said.