The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) continues to maintain its stance that Aadhaar is a secure system and has no security loopholes, despite many Twitter users flagging concerns.
In one such instance, Twitter user @PRIYARD went to an Airtel store in order to link her number, the only one she has had since 2000, to her Aadhaar card. However, she got the shock of her life when the mobile network operator informed her that there were already nine other connections linked to her Aadhaar card.
The biggest shock of my life!!!— P R D (@PRIYARD) January 16, 2018
Went to an Airtel store to get AADHAAR linked to the single mobile number i have been using since 2000.
Was told there are 9 connections already linked to my AADHAAR!
What the hell is happening? @Airtel_Presence @airtelindia @UIDAI
This triggered a flood of reactions on Twitter.
P: My Aadhaar is linked to unknown SIMs!— Meghnad (@Memeghnad) January 21, 2018
UIDAI: Yeah well at least you found out.
P: But what about the SIMs?
UIDAI: Not our problem, ask the phone company lol.
P: But MY AADHAAR WAS MISUSED!
UIDAI: By the company... not us. So... not our problem! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/42iZLZ7ESI
Most people probably don't even know how many have linked their mobiles (or bank accounts) or hospital records to their Aadhaar. And don't trust the UIDAI will tell them the truth even if it knew! pic.twitter.com/4bZX2bxspv— Rita Banerji #AadhaarWarOnWomen (@Rita_Banerji) January 21, 2018
Noble intentions and ultimate of Aadhaar...— James Wilson (@jamewils) January 22, 2018
It will enable you to realise how many people obtained SIM cards by duping your Aadhaar card & biometrics..
See knowledge is strength and it is really empowering you https://t.co/ACiwXVsfFX
Responding to the user, UIDAI tweeted: “At least the Aadhaar holder knows how many mobiles are linked to his/her Aadhaar number. In such cases one can complain against the mobile company to TRAI or TERM cell of DOT for fraudulently issuing SIM against their Aadhaar Number.”
UIDAI additionally tweeted that earlier there was no way of knowing how many numbers were issued on the basis of the documents submitted by any subscriber.
At least the Aadhaar holder knows how many mobiles are linked to his/her Aadhaar number. In such cases one can complain against the mobile company to TRAI or TERM cell of DOT for fraudulently issuing SIM against their Aadhaar Number. 1/3— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 21, 2018
The mobile company must provide evidence as to when and how these mobiles were linked to the Aadhaar Number, or face action for fraudulent acts by its employees. 2/3— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 21, 2018
In earlier system, there was no way of knowing how many hundred of SIM cards were issued on the basis of identity documents submitted by a person without their knowledge. 3/3— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 21, 2018
The government has made it mandatory to link Aadhaar cards to mobile SIMs by March 31. However, this may change as the Supreme Court is presently hearing petitions that challenge the validity of Aadhaar.
Airtel later got back to the Twitter user and said there was only one connection linked to the user’s Aadhaar card. The user was informed that the mobile operator provided her incorrect information due to a ‘software coding glitch’.
Thank you for your patience. We confirm that there is only one connection in your name. No mobile number is linked to your Aadhaar number. We will resolve your concern as per our discussion with you. Thank you, Nitin— Bharti Airtel India (@Airtel_Presence) January 22, 2018
This is the latest update from Airtel. According to them, there's been no data breach/leak/theft of Aadhaar!— P R D (@PRIYARD) January 22, 2018
The message i received was an Airtel software coding glitch which they are trying to resolve! https://t.co/GUczDnetnd
UIDAI, too, later responded to the tweet, saying they had contacted Airtel regarding the issue.
Considering the urgency of the matter, pls share your Airtel mob. no. and other details like the Airtel service centre where you visited for linking/ verification of your mobile no. This will help in nabbing the culprits. 2/2 @ceo_uidai @ndtv— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) January 21, 2018
Earlier this month, a report published in The Tribune claimed that it took just Rs 500 and 10 minutes for the newspaper to get access through an “agent” to every detail that any individual had submitted to the UIDAI, including their name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email. The newspaper said it paid another Rs 300, for which the “agent” provided “software” to facilitate the printing of the Aadhaar card after entering the Aadhaar number of any individual.