The UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India has introduced an optional method of Aadhaar authentication. Called Virtual ID or VID, this alternate way for Aadhaar holders to take up Aadhaar authentication is meant to further strengthen privacy and security of Aadhaar holders, the UIDAI - the issuer of the 12-digit Aadhaar number as well as Aadhaar card - said on microblogging site Twitter. VID, a 16-digit random number that would be mapped to the 12-digit Aadhaar, will enable users to undergo Aadhaar authentication without having to furnish their 12-digit Unique Identity Number (UID), also known as Aadhaar number.
How to use Aadhaar Virtual ID or VID
Aadhaar holders will be able to use Virtual ID or VID in place of Aadhaar number for any service where they are required to use Aadhaar authentication, according to the UIDAI.
"Use of VID would be optional," the UIDAI said. The Aadhaar holder will also have the option to take up Aadhaar authentication through the existing method, by quoting the UID.
VID will be a temporary number that will be automatically revoked once the Aadhaar holder generates a new VID or after the validity of the current VID lapses (to be specified by UIDAI policy), according to the UIDAI.
The Aadhaar-issuing body will offer means to generate the VID via the resident portal, at an Aadhaar Kendra (Aadhaar centre) or via mobile app mAadhaar.
Important dates - Aadhaar Virtual ID or VID
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has said it will implement the VID service by March 1, 2018.
Service providers are requested to make necessary changes in their systems, according to the UIDAI. All AUAs (Authentication User Agencies) and ASAs (Aadhaar authentication service providers) to complete the implementation by June 1, 2018, the UIDAI added.
Meanwhile, Aadhaar is to be linked with bank accounts, investments in small savings schemes and mutual funds, mobile SIMs, PAN cards and various government schemes by March 31, 2018. Aadhaar authentication is the process by which an Aadhaar holder's Aadhaar number along with the demographic information or biometric information is submitted to the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) for verification.