In a major move, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Chairman J Satyanarayana called on officials in Andhra Pradesh to pull down Aadhaar data from official websites of the state government.
The move came after Satyanarayana, who is also the Information Technology Advisor to the State government, cited reports of data leaks over the last month.
Speaking at the Collectors’ Conference on Wednesday, Satyanarayana reportedly said, “Publication of Aadhaar and related information on any website is prohibited under the Aadhaar Act, 2016. In some state government websites, remnant data is available. I request all the departments to check their websites and remove the data and ensure that it is not available even in the future.”
Last week, it was reported that the AP Cyber Security Operations Centre (Cyber SOC) had taken over various government websites for inspection.
This had followed claims by whistleblower Srinivas Kodali, who pointed out that the Aadhaar data of at least 1.34 lakh citizens in the state was compromised, along with other details like their religion, caste and bank details.
The names were part of a list titled ‘Beneficiary Details belonging to Entry Report for Scheme Hudhud’ and were available on the website of the Andhra Pradesh State Housing Corporation. The details made it easy to ‘profile’ the citizens, which was in contradiction of the UIDAI's stand that it does not link such details with the Aadhaar number.
A day later, Srinivas put out screenshots that suggested that the Unique Identity Number (UID) numbers of 89,38,138 MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) beneficiaries had been compromised on the website of the Andhra Pradesh Benefit Disbursement Portal.
On April 28, Srinivas claimed that the Aadhaar data of 69,83,048 children was exposed online from the website of the Andhra Pradesh Commissionerate of school education.
On April 30, he tweeted that the Aadhaar numbers of 20,71,913 pregnant women and recent mothers during the period of from 2015-2018 had been published.