1. UIDAI-Airtel Payments Bank case: Company deposits Rs 2.5 crore penalty; to return entire amount

UIDAI-Airtel Payments Bank case: Company deposits Rs 2.5 crore penalty; to return entire amount

More than 31 lakh customers reportedly received as many as Rs 190 crore LPG subsidy in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened. Even though Airtel denied any wrong-doing, the company has deposited Rs 2.5 crore as an interim penalty to UIDAI.

By: | Updated: December 19, 2017 5:55 PM
More than 31 lakh customers reportedly received as many as Rs 190 crore LPG subsidy in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened. (Image: PTI)

More than 31 lakh customers received Rs 190 crore of LPG subsidy in their Airtel bank accounts, which they did not know had been opened. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was informed that at the time of mobile verification using Aadhaar e-KYC, the Airtel retailers were also opening Airtel Payments Bank accounts, without the informed consent of the user. Government’s LPG subsidy was also getting transferred to these accounts, without their consent. Even though Airtel denied any wrong-doing, the company has deposited Rs 2.5 crore as an interim penalty to UIDAI, PTI reported.

On Monday, UIDAI had temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar linked e-KYC verification of SIMs and bank clients. The company however responded by saying no bank account was opened without the consent of the customers and additional safeguards have been introduced. In fact, Airtel even offered to return Rs 190 crore subsidy that had flown ‘unsolicitedly’ into the Payments Bank accounts of its 31 lakh mobile phone subscribers, PTI reported quoting sources.

“We can confirm that we have received an interim order from the UIDAI regarding temporary suspension of Aadhaar linked e-KYC services till their satisfaction on certain processes relating to Airtel Payment Bank’s onboarding of customers,” the company said in a statement.

“We are engaging with the authority and are hopeful of an early resolution. We are also undertaking to complete the said actions on priority and have commenced thorough checks of our process flows. Being compliant to all guidelines is paramount to us. In the interim, any inconvenience to our customers is regretted,” the company added.

Mounting pressure on Airtel, the state-run oil companies had begun writing to billionaire Sunil Mittal-led firm asking it to transfer back the LPG subsidy that got credited to its payment bank accounts. Mounting pressure on Airtel, the state-run oil companies had begun writing to billionaire Sunil Mittal-led firm asking it to transfer back the LPG subsidy that got credited to its payment bank accounts.

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  1. R
    Reader
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:00 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 21, 2017 at 1:59 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. R
        Reader
        Dec 21, 2017 at 1:59 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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