Home / Nation / Unrestricted access to 1 bn Aadhaar details up for sale in Rs 500: Know how to lock your biometrics online

Unrestricted access to 1 bn Aadhaar details up for sale in Rs 500: Know how to lock your biometrics online

NEW DELHI: Even after the several assurances by the government that the Aadhhar details are safe and cannot be misused, a shocking newspaper report claimed that the unrestricted access to over one billion details are up for sale in mere price of just Rs 500.

Not just this, Aadhaar issuing body Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have also repeatedly assured that architecture of the Aadhaar ecosystem has been designed to ensure data security and privacy, investigative report by the Tribune paints a completely opposite picture.

According to the newspaper, the details of the 12-digit unique identification number is easily accessible.

The paper said that its reporter purchased a service by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp. The reporter paid Rs 500 via Paytm to an agent. Within 10 minutes the agent gave a login ID and password, thus giving unrestricted access to details of over 1 billion Aadhaar numbers.

The report further stated that by paying another Rs 300, the agent provided “software” to the undercover reporter which could facilitate the printing of the Aadhaar card.

And while the shocking reports puts a question mark on the security of the system, here’s how you can lock the biometrics-related information associated with your Aadhaar card.

Firstly, let us understand what are Biometrics?

Biometrics are the details inserted into the Aadhaar database through iris and fingerprint scans. The biometrics information is used for Aadhaar authentication, the UIDAI website stated.  UIDAI on its website has provided Aadhaar Biometric locking system, the system enables users to lock and temporarily unlock their biometrics.

Users if they do not wish to use biometrics in near future, they can lock their biometrics.

“This is to protect privacy and confidentiality of resident’s biometrics Data,” the UIDAI noted. Once locked, the use of biometrics for authentication is restricted against any attempt to authenticate it, “thus preventing potential misuse”, according to the UIDAI.

Following is a step-wise guide on how to lock your Aadhaar card biometrics

Visit the UIDAI official website, uidai.gov.in, after the page has been opened, find and click on the ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’ link under the Aadhaar Services section.

After clicking on the Lock/Unlock Biometrics, a separate page titled Lock/Unlock Biometrics’ will be opened,  Under the ‘Lock your Biometrics’ section, users have to enter their 12-digit Aadhaar number and the security code in the fields as specified.

A One-Time Password for Login will be sent to the user’s registered mobile number.

Now, the users have to enter the password, which they must have received on their registered mobile number, and click ‘Login’.

After logging in, enter the security code once again and click on ‘Enable’. Your biometrics will now be locked. ”

But in case users want to disable the Locked Biometrics then following are the steps that should be followed.

For unlocking your biometrics, first login using the OTP- or One-Time Password-based method that has been mentioned above.

After logging in, enter the security code and then click on ‘Disable’ button on the next page.

And the lock will be removed.

However, UIDAI cautioned the users that the they have to use this facility with care to prevent denial of authentication services.