1. To avoid Airtel-type fiasco, UIDAI says consumer nod must for changing subsidy-receiving bank account

To avoid Airtel-type fiasco, UIDAI says consumer nod must for changing subsidy-receiving bank account

To avoid a repeat of Bharti Airtel-type fiasco, the Aadhaar-issuing authority UIDAI today directed banks to seek an explicit consent of the beneficiary before changing the account to which the government subsidy is being remitted.

By: | New Delhi | Published: December 19, 2017 7:14 PM
aadhaar card, aadhaar, airtel uidai fiasco, airtel fight with uidai, aadhaar mandatory As per the new process, banks will send request for mapping of a new account or overriding an existing bank account to NPCI only after taking explicit and informed consent of their customers, it said. (PTI)

To avoid a repeat of Bharti Airtel-type fiasco, the Aadhaar-issuing authority UIDAI today directed banks to seek an explicit consent of the beneficiary before changing the account to which the government subsidy is being remitted. Also, the banks have been asked to intimate the beneficiary about the change within 24-hours through SMS and e-mail as well as provide an option to the person to reverse the change, according to a Gazette notification issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The notification follows complaints of government grants, particularly LPG subsidy, being credited into the last account authenticated using national biometric ID, Aadhaar. The situation was worse in case of Bharti Airtel, which allegedly opened unsolicited payment bank accounts of its unsuspecting mobile customers who had used Aadhaar to verify their SIMs. The government has made it mandatory for all bank accounts as well as SIMs to be verified by providing the 12- digit biometric identification number Aadhaar. While subsidies totaling over Rs 190 crore had flown into the ‘unsolicited’ accounts opened by Airtel Payments Bank, the accounts had also got changed for beneficiaries who had multiple bank accounts as the last account authenticated became the one meant for subsidy receiving. The UIDAI, in the notification, said the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) shall allow override requests or change of subsidy-receiving account, only if it is accompanied by the name of the beneficiary’s current bank and a confirmation that explicit consent has been obtained for the switchover. Till this provision is implemented, “NPCI shall disable the override feature” in the Aadhaar-based bank account mapping process, the notification said. When contacted, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI that “a very secure process has been evolved to put an effective stop to switching of bank accounts without” informing and seeking consent of consumers.

As per the new process, banks will send request for mapping of a new account or overriding an existing bank account to NPCI only after taking explicit and informed consent of their customers, it said. Further, the banks would also have to inform each account holder through SMS and email about the overriding request within 24 hours, providing name of the current bank on the mapper and the last four digits of the account number of the new bank along with the bank name. In case, the consumer does not wish to link the DBT to the new account, the bank will have to provide the user with a method to reverse the mapping. In absence of an SMS or email (for those consumer who do not have e-mail or mobile connection), the physical signature on the paper consent form will have to taken by the bank prior to sending the request on NPCI mapper. All these records will have to be retained by the banks for seven years.

“Banks and NPCI shall make available the aforesaid records at the time of the audit as per the provisions of Aadhaar Authentication Regulations 2016,” the notification added. The notification detailed the reason for the revamp of the process and went on to list the Bharti Airtel issue as well as general instances of last bank account authenticated becoming the subsidy receiving account. “As a result, the subsidy from the government under the various schemes are getting credited in the new/latest bank account on Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) mapper without the knowledge and informed consent of the beneficiary,” the notification said.

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  1. A
    Arun Shah
    Dec 19, 2017 at 8:47 pm
    They should also return all the interest earned till date to the subsidy holders over and above the subsidy amounts. RBI should revoke their banking license due to unethical and unfair trade practices. Hang them publicly.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Dec 19, 2017 at 7:38 pm
      A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship. 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. 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. If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help that person.
      Reply
      1. A
        Arun Shah
        Dec 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm
        I am not in agreement with the various scenarios you have put across in terms of cloning fingerprints and iris images. It is not so easy and simple as you make it sound like. Aadhaar has its pros and cons and since the pros are producing very valid results in terms of ghost IDs, voting population, it is more important to decide whether pros win over cons......which I believe are.
        Reply
      2. R
        Reader
        Dec 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm
        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
          Dec 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm
          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.
          Reply

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