Attorney General KK Venugopal recently said in the Supreme Court that the Aadhaar data was safe as it was protected by a wall which is 13 feet high.

AG emphasises on Aadhaar data centres physical security Twitter mocksAadhaar/Facebook
news Aadhaar Friday, March 23, 2018 - 16:24

The government has collected the biometrics of 1.2 billion Indians under the Aadhaar scheme till date. And time and again, concerns about the privacy of citizens and how secure the database is have been raised.

In an attempt to quell doubts, Attorney General KK Venugopal recently said in the Supreme Court that the Aadhaar data was safe and secure, as the Central Identities Data Repository was protected by a wall which is 13 feet high and five feet thick.

The A-G was arguing before a five-judge constitution bench which was hearing petitions questioning the privacy of data collated for Aadhaar.

While social media users began to wonder what physical walls had to do with digital security, Takshashila Institution Director Nitin Pai pointed out that the physical security of data centres was important.

However, the fact that the A-G chose to highlight this at a time when there are multiple reports of Aadhaar data being compromised online wasn’t lost on Twitterati.

 

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On Thursday, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told the apex court that the biometric and demographic information of people who have enrolled for Aadhaar was secure, while no one will lose benefits for its lack.

Noting that data matching software has been bought from the world's three best companies and stored on UIDAI's 6,000 servers, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that these are not linked to internet to eliminate the possibility of any backdoor access to the data.

The UIDAI also state that the Aadhaar data is protected by a 2048-encryption key which will take a supercomputer over 13 billion years to crack.

It may be noted here that a few months ago, The Tribune had reported on the alleged breach of Aadhaar data security.  In an investigative piece published on January 3, 2018, Rachna reported that anonymous sellers over WhatsApp were allegedly providing unrestricted access to details for any of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.

Soon after the report was published, the deputy director of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reportedly filed an FIR against the publication and the reporter. The body came under heavy criticism for targeting the reporter who exposed a flaw in the system instead of addressing the issue.

With IANS inputs

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