BENGALURU: Aadhaar has gone the smart way, but the scheme’s very smartness is under a cloud as the process put in place to issue smart cards is replete with loopholes, rendering leakage of personal data and putting privacy of citizens at risk.
A senior UIDAI officer said: “To start the authentication process, a person has to give his/her Aadhaar number. The biometrics of the cardholder must match that of the person who is physically present. If the card holder is not present, his/her OTP or onetime password has to be entered. Just by giving the Aadhaar number, one cannot get a smart card,” he claimed.
OTPs are sent to the registered mobile phones of the Aadhaar card holders.
According to him, the process is as simple as taking a print of e-Aadhaar from a cyber cafe where there is no data sharing.
Ashok Lenin, deputy director, UIDAI, said: “Smartcards cannot be issued unless the person is present at the centre. Forget getting others’ cards, I cannot take my wife’s Aadhaar smartcard. There must be a mistake if the agent is issuing it. I will initiate an investigation immediately.”
Critics of the Aadhaar scheme have been alleging that personal data collected during enrolment puts an individual’s right to privacy% at risk.
The Supreme Court had recently allowed use of Aadhaar in the public distribution scheme and criminal investigation, but referred to the right to privacy issue to the Constitution bench.