You don't need to share your Aadhaar number with anyone

Ajay Bhushan Pandey spoke to NDTV about virtual ID

Instead, a random 16-digit Virtual ID number could be generated and used in lieu of Aadhaar with authorised agencies like banks and telecom service providers.

The citizens will also have the choice for the reverse - which is to not generate their virtual IDs and continue using their Aadhaar numbers each time.

UIDAI will take a view on the issue on 10 February after taking into account the final audit report of the DoT, the RBI and others on the matter, said a report by PTI on Thursday, quoting officials.

The UIDAI will start accepting VID from March 1, 2018.

- Authentication may be performed using VID in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number.

However, at such critical juncture, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) did deny accusations of Aadhaar data leak. On Wednesday, the UIDAI sought to reinforce privacy protection for Aadhaar number-holders by unveiling one of the most significant changes since.

Following the reports, the UIDAI also filed a case against the news agency - The Tribune. A wide range and number of private entities are using Aadhaar to verify identity of their customers.

The critics point out that "Aadhaar-issuing body (UIDAI) plans to split the third party authenticators (like telecom providers, banks, etc) into two groups and the virtual ID/limited KYC will be useful for only one of them".

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Until now, a person had to give their 12-digit identity number along with demographic and biometrics or through a one-time password during authentication or e-KYC (know your customer) for accessing various benefits and services from service providers.

Experts pointed out that the virtual ID is voluntary and the Aadhaar number will still need to be used at some places. Simultaneously, it has further regulated the storage of the Aadhaar number within various databases.

Virtual Aadhaar ID: How Will It Work?

Speaking at another event under the aegis of Delhi School of Economics, Prasad showed his Aadhaar card to the audience and said: "The (Aadhaar) system contains my finger print and iris kept in safe and secure encrypted form which can not be broken even by billions of efforts".

Read also: Should We Link Aadhaar or Not? 210 government published at least 13 crore Aadhaar numbers in the past and the risk of people having these numbers already is very high.

"Aadhaar is here to stay!"

UIDAI will share updated API/technical documents, guidelines, and conduct workshops / training sessions for AUAs/KUAs to ensure smooth and timely implementation.

A short while earlier, there had been allegations that leading Indian telco, Airtel had usedAadhaar details to establish e-KYC credentials of users and open their accounts on Airtel Payments Bank without their consent.

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