- Virtual ID system will check leak, misuse of biometric data, says UIDAI
- "Virtual ID" debuted days after Aadhaar-data-for-Rs 500 newspaper report
- Virtual ID "untested and unworkable", allege anti-Aadhaar petitioners
A new move to secure Aadhaar, in which a randomly-generated 16-digit temporary number can be shared instead of the biometric ID, will be opposed in the Supreme Court by petitioners who are fighting a case against the system.
"The new virtual ID is untested and unworkable. The UIDAI is trying to rectify technical breach by its untested technology," said a petitioner, adding, "In the hearing next week, we will oppose it tooth and nail."
The Supreme Court is hearing the petitioners' legal challenge to the validity of the 12-digit Unique Identification Number and the government's move to make it mandatory.
Yesterday, the UIDAI - the authority that runs the government's Aadhaar programme - announced the virtual ID system saying it would check leak and misuse of biometric data collected from millions of Indians.
The "Virtual ID", reportedly in the making for months, debuted days after a newspaper report claimed access to the Aadhaar database for just Rs 500 paid digitally.
In yesterday's order, the UIDAI said it would release the Virtual ID software by 1 March. People will be able to generate a temporary 16-digit number that can be shared instead of the Aadhaar number for various services like at airline or railway counters.
The Supreme Court is hearing a number of petitions that have challenged the validity of Aadhaar and linking of the ID to phones, account numbers, various services and welfare schemes.
Activists say making Aadhaar linking mandatory violates the Right to Privacy and the large scale sharing of biometric data like iris scans and finger printing also leaves room for misuse.
Around 119 crore people have been issued Aadhaar cards so far.