New Delhi: Days after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chief Ram Sewak Sharma’s Aadhaar challenge triggered a storm on social media, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has advised people to refrain from publicly putting their 12-digit Aadhaar numbers on internet and social media and posing challenges to others.
“Such activities are uncalled for and should be refrained as these are not in accordance with the law,” UIDAI said in a release. The authority further mentioned that the advisory was put out with reference to some news items appearing on social media reporting few persons publicly posting their Aadhaar numbers on internet and social media and posing challenges to others.
It may be noted that Sharma shared his Aadhaar number publicly on micro-blogging site Twitter last week, challenging people to harm him. However, in an op-ed piece in The Indian Express, Sharma explained that the main purpose behind his move was to educate people in the wake of campaigns against Aadhaar.
The authority said that the unique 12-digit number is personally sensitive information like bank account number, passport number, PAN number, etc., which should be strictly shared only on a need basis for a legitimate use for establishing identity and for legitimate transactions.
“UIDAI in its regular media campaigns have been consistently making people aware not to display or publish or share their Aadhaar number in public domain,” the statement said.
Also, as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and IT (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 and Justice BN Srikrishna’s proposed Data Protection Bill, personally sensitive information should not be published or shared publicly, it said.
“Indiscriminate and unwanted publication of any personally sensitive information whether Aadhaar or any other, may render the concerned person vulnerable and, therefore, should be avoided.”
UIDAI also warned that doing Aadhaar authentication through somebody else’s Aadhaar number or using someone else’s Aadhaar number for any purpose may amount to impersonation and thereby a criminal offence under the Aadhaar Act and Indian Penal Code. “Any person indulging in such acts or abetting or inciting others to do so makes themselves liable for prosecution and penal action under the law. Therefore people should refrain from such acts,” it added.