UIDAI introduces ‘Virtual ID’ for Aadhaar to improve privacy

UIDAI today introduced a new concept of ‘Virtual ID‘ which Aadhaar-card holder can generate from its website and give for various purposes, including SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12-digit biometric ID.

This will give the users the option of not sharing their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication.

The Virtual ID, which would be a random 16-digit number, together with biometrics of the user would give any authorised agency like a mobile company, limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification.

Officials said a user can generate as many Virtual IDs as he or she wants. The older ID gets automatically cancelled once a fresh one is generated.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has also introduced the concept of ‘limited KYC‘ under which it will only provide need-based or limited details of a user to an authorised agency that is providing a particular service, say, a telco.

The Virtual ID will be a temporary and revocable 16 digit random number mapped to a person’s Aadhaar number and the Aadhaar-issuing body will start accepting it from March 1, 2018.

From June 1, 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept the Virtual ID from their users.

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