The Aadhaar card is quickly becoming a mandatory document that now serves as an identity and address proof. The government has also recently made it mandatory for tax payers to link their Aadhaar cards with PAN card for income tax filing. In fact, whether you are opening a new bank account, applying for a passport, or getting a new SIM connection, an Aadhaar card now serves as a valid document.
Yes, Aadhaar is gaining a lot of importance, and besides your personal information, it also stores your biometrics data – facial data, iris (retina) and fingerprint. And with so much at stake, it is natural for someone to be concerned about the information being misused. In fact, we have seen a lot of cyber crimes in recent times. There are malware apps on Google Play store, there are WannaCry, Petya, and other ransomware affecting Windows OS based laptops and desktops.
If the above instances aren’t enough, there are websites affected with DDoS attacks and more. Just recently, MTNL and BSNL broadband services were recently disrupted after malware attack. With hackers on their toes, it’s just a matter of time until they gain access to your sensitive data. In fact, there were recent reports that Aadhaar numbers and personal details 135 million Indians may have been leaked. However, the MeitY had clarified that the system is foolproof, and Aadhaar data cannot be leaked.
Now, the best part of Aadhaar card is that you don’t need to carry the physical document every time. Simply giving the 12-digit Aadhaar number is more than enough. But, anyone can punch in the number in their system to carry out the authentication process.
To ensure no one misuses your personal details, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has added biometric lock and unlock feature, which you can enable and disable at your convenience. Till the time your data is locked, the systems won’t be able to authenticate your Aadhaar profile. There are two ways to do it, and we will take a closer look at how it works.
Aadhaar biometric lock and unlock using mAadhaar app
The UIDAI recently released its mAadhaar app for Android OS, which lets you add your Aadhaar profile and control its privacy too. Simply download the app, and you’ll first have to set a profile password. Once that is done, enter your Aadhaar number, followed by the OTP for authentication.
Now, on the home screen, you will see your Aadhaar profile with your name, photo and 12-digit number. On the top right, you will see three dots – giving you access to biometric settings, view profile, QR-code, and an option to share your e-kyc. Tap on biometric lock, enter your profile password, and you will be able to lock your biometrics. Once that is done, you will see a small lock icon next to your profile on the home page, meaning that your Aadhaar authentication is locked.
To unlock your profile, tap on the lock icon followed by your password. This will unlock it for 10 minutes. You will not only be able to see your profile, but also be able to see details such as your date of birth. There is also a show TOTP, which is a randomly generated code you can for authentication.
Aadhaar biometric lock and unlock using UIDAI website
Besides the mAadhaar app, you can also lock and unlock your Aadhaar biometrics from the UIDAI website. You’ll need to visit – resident.uidai.gov.in/biometric-lock.
Next, enter your Aadhaar number and the captcha, followed by the box that reads send OTP. You will get an OTP on your registered mobile number, the same your need to enter on the next screen, followed by captcha and the OTP, then click on login.
Once the biometric lock is turned on, you can then click on unlock or disable it at your convenience.
Do note – the Aadhaar biometric unlocking is temporary, and valid only for 10 minutes. Also, your mobile number needs to be linked with Aadhaar for this to work. In case your mobile number is not linked, you’ll have to visit the Aadhaar enrolment center to get it done.