1. Aadhaar Card mobile number linking: This is what your telco has done

Aadhaar Card mobile number linking: This is what your telco has done

Telecom operators have sought more time from the government for implementation of Aadhaar OTP (one-time password)-based authentication process for reverification of mobile numbers, claiming that there is confusion over the use of the SMS-based method.

By: | New Delhi | Published: November 23, 2017 5:20 AM
Aadhaar Card mobile number linking, UIDAI, IVRS, DoT instructions, Aruna Sundararajan, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, telecom subscribers Mathews said both DoT and UIDAI had earlier publicised that reverification would be done through SMS, app and IVRS processes, and subscribers are now aware of the same and hence are not visiting operator-run stores for verification.

Telecom operators have sought more time from the government for implementation of Aadhaar OTP (one-time password)-based authentication process for reverification of mobile numbers, claiming that there is confusion over the use of the SMS-based method. The government has mandated to begin mobile number reverification by December 1 to comply with the Supreme Court directions, of February 6, for putting in place within a year an effective mechanism to scrutinise identity of over a billion existing as well as future mobile subscribers. In separate letters to telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan and Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey, telecom operators’ body COAI claimed that there is “ambiguity” over the implementation process — it was earlier decided that for reverification operators will use SMS, mobile app, IVRS and web-based methods, but UIDAI, in its recent circular, excluded the SMS-based method.

In a circular issued on November 15 on the process of OTP-based Aadhaar e-KYC for reverification of subscribers, UIDAI issued instructions for only IVRS and app-based processes, said COAI director general Rajan S Mathews in the letters seen by FE.“It is pertinent to note that DoT instructions of October 23 clearly state that SMS-based and or IVRS-based and app-based processes need to be implemented. It is submitted that the process with only IVRS and web will not address requirements of the Department of Telecom (DoT) directions or objective, nor will it achieve the requisite scale of e-KYC with Aadhaar linking for such a large number of telecom subscribers,” he added.

Mathews said both DoT and UIDAI had earlier publicised that reverification would be done through SMS, app and IVRS processes, and subscribers are now aware of the same and hence are not visiting operator-run stores for verification. “This sudden change in approach has not and will not be taken well by subscribers and will delay the entire reverification timelines as stipulated by the Supreme Court. Besides, it will not be easy for operators to explain to subscribers that UIDAI/government has not approved the SMS-based method,” he complained. On implementation date of November 30, 2017, for the reverification process, COAI said as informed to UIDAI earlier, in order to implement the whole process there is a need to modify the customer acquisition form (CAF). This modified form will have to be issued by the DoT and would then have to be developed by the operators and incorporated in their apps nationwide. To change the system and implement the process, operators would require at least 4-6 weeks. “However, the same has not been considered by UIDAI, while stipulating timelines for implementation in a unilateral manner,” Mathews said.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 23, 2017 at 6:09 am
    The biometrics-based Aadhaar program is inherently flawed. Biometrics can be easily lifted by external means, there is no need to hack the system. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can CLONE your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. That is why advanced countries like the US, UK, etc. did not implement such a self-destructive biometrics-based system. If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help that person. This is NOT like blocking an ATM card and taking a new one.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Nov 23, 2017 at 6:08 am
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information and the purposes it could be used for, the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked, and the unreliability of such large-scale biometric verification processes. The Aadhaar program was designed in 2009 by mainly considering the 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' of UK, but the UK stopped that project in 2010, whereas India continued with the biometrics-based program. We must think why the United Kingdom abandoned their project and destroyed the data collected. (Google: 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' and 'Identi-ty Documents Act 2010' )
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Nov 23, 2017 at 6:08 am
        A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Nov 23, 2017 at 5:57 am
          The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
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