1/5/2018 9:09:31 AM
|written By : Team India Se|
The personal information of more than a billion Indians stored in the world’s largest biometric database can be bought online for about $10, according to the Tribune newspaper published from Chandigarh in India.
The newspaper reported it “purchased” a service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp that provided unrestricted access to details for any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.
The report on January 3 said: “It took just Rs 500 (about $10.50), paid through Paytm, and 10 minutes in which an “agent” of the group running the racket created a “gateway” for this correspondent and gave a login ID and password. Lo and behold, you could enter any Aadhaar number in the portal, and instantly get all particulars that an individual may have submitted to the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), including name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email.”
“What is more, the Tribune team paid another Rs 300, for which the agent provided ‘software’ that could facilitate the printing of the Aadhaar card after entering the Aadhaar number of any individual,” the report added.
This is the latest alleged breach of the Aadhaar database, storing the photographs, thumbprints, retina scans and other identifying details of every Indian citizen.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), running the Aadhaar system, however, denied there had been a major breach.
It said it seemed the newspaper had accessed only limited details through a search facility available to government officials.
It said it wanted those who had “misused” the system to be prosecuted, but stressed that no thumbprints or retina scans had been made available. “Mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics,” it said. “Claims of bypassing or duping the Aadhaar enrolment system are totally unfounded. Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and has robust, uncompromised security.”
More than 200 government websites were revealed in November to have published the Aadhaar numbers of citizens along with the names, addresses and bank details. UIDAI said that in that case the information had been inadvertently published and was removed.