The Central government on Sunday withdrew its press note cautioning citizens on sharing a photocopy of their Aadhaar details with any organisation in a bid to prevent misuse. In a fresh press release, the government cited the ‘possibility of misinterpretation’ as the reason to withdraw its older circular. Also Read - How to download a Masked Aadhaar card to keep personal data safe
“It is learnt that it was issued by them in the context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card. The release advised the people to not to share photocopy of their Aadhaar with any organization because it can be misused. Alternatively, a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last 4 digits of Aadhaar number, can be used,” the government said in the fresh release. Also Read - How to verify if an Aadhaar number is real or fake
“However, in view of the possibility of the misinterpretation of the Press Release, the same stands withdrawn with immediate effect,” the government added while emphasising on the fact that the Aadhaar authentication system had ‘adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder.’ Also Read - Qualcomm India partners with MeiTY’s C-DAC to help Indian chipset startups
What had happened earlier
It is worth noting that the new release by the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology (MeitY) comes just two days after it issued a circular cautioning citizens against sharing their Aadhaar details with anyone. In its circular, Meity asked citizens not to share photo copies of their Aadhaar card with any organisation. In addition to that, the ministry advised citizens against using a public computer at an internet cafe for downloading a copy of their Aadhaar. “However, if you do so, please ensure that you delete all the downloaded copies of e-Aadhaar permanently from that computer,” MeitY wrote in its earlier release.
The Central Government clarifies that “unlicensed private entities like hotels or film halls are not permitted to collect or keep copies of #Aadhar card. It is an offence under the Aadhar Act, 2016.” #Aadhaar pic.twitter.com/AUbucFRGaP
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) May 29, 2022
Additionally, the government advised citizens to use a ‘masked Aadhaar‘, which displays only the last four digits of citizens’ Aadhaar numbers. This masked Aadhaar can be downloaded from UIDAI‘s official website.
Apart from this, MeitY in its release noted that only organisations that had obtained license from the UIDAI were allowed to use Aadhaar for establising identity of a person. “If a private entity demands to see your Aadhaar card, or seeks a photocopy of your Aadhaar card, please verify they have valid User License from the UIDAI,” the note said.