Addressing privacy concerns after a news report claimed a breach in the Aadhaar database, the UIDAI on Wednesday announced a new two-layer system to strengthen security of Aadhaar number holders which would do away with the need to share the unique ID for verification purposes.
Under the new system, at the user-end, the Aadhaar holder will have the choice not to share their Aadhaar number at the time of authentication. Instead, a random 16-digit Virtual ID number would be generated and could be used in lieu of Aadhaar with the authorised agency like banks and telecom service providers.
"Virtual ID will be a temporary, revocable 16 digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. It is not possible to derive Aadhaar number from Virtual ID," a circular issued by UIDAI said.
This is how VID works:
VID will be a temporary, revocable 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. It will not be possible to derive Aadhaar number from VID.
"Last digit of the VID is the checksum using 'Verhoeff' algorithm as in Aadhaar number. There will be only one active and valid VID for an Aadhaar number at any given time," the UIDAI said in a statement.
The "Verhoeff" algorithm is a checksum formula for error detection developed by the Dutch mathematician Jacobus Verhoeff and was first published in 1969.
Aadhaar number holders can use VID in lieu of Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are performed.
Authentication may be performed using VID in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number.
"VID, by design being temporary, cannot be used by agencies for de-duplication. VID is revocable and can be replaced by a new one by Aadhaar number holder after the minimum validity period set by UIDAI policy," the authority added.
VID can be generated only by the Aadhaar number holder.
They can also replace (revoke and generate new one) their VID from time to time after the UIDAI set minimum validity period.
"UIDAI will provide various options to Aadhaar number holders to generate their VID, retrieve their VID in case they forget, and replace their VID with a new number. These options will be made available via UIDAI's resident portal, Aadhaar Enrollment Center and mAaadhaar mobile application, etc," the authority said.