1. UIDAI lens on Airtel over opening payments bank accounts using eKYC

UIDAI lens on Airtel over opening payments bank accounts using eKYC

The UIDAI has slapped notices on Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank over its retailers allegedly opening payments bank accounts without taking "informed consent" of customers who go for Aadhaar-based mobile SIM verification.

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 21, 2017 5:56 PM
airtel, airtel payment bank, uidai on airtel payment bank, aadhaar card airtel payment bank In November 2016, Airtel Payments Bank had rolled out banking services in Rajasthan, becoming the first payments bank to go live in the country. (Reuters)

The UIDAI has slapped notices on Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank over its retailers allegedly opening payments bank accounts without taking “informed consent” of customers who go for Aadhaar-based mobile SIM verification. The Aadhaar-issuing body, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in the notices seen by PTI, stated that acts of not taking consent and informing the purpose of authentication was a violation of rules and punishable with financial penalties. It also asked both Bharti Airtel and its payments bank entity to take immediate corrective measures and report back to the authority on the same.

Reached for comments, an Airtel spokesperson said the payments bank is fully compliant with RBI and UIDAI guidelines and follows a stringent customer onboarding process. “Airtel Payments Bank accounts are opened only after explicit consent from the customer. We will continue to educate retailers and strengthen our process to ensure transparency to customers and compliance with regulation,” the company said in an e-mail response.

The UIDAI in the notices stated that it has come to know that “Airtel retailers are allegedly opening Airtel payments Bank account at the time of performing Aadhaar e-KYC verification without informing the purpose of e-KYC and also without taking informed consent of the customer”.

Also, certain complaints were made to UIDAI alleging that Airtel opened payments bank account without approval and the said account was then linked for receiving LPG subsidy.

The UIDAI is learnt to have said such acts violated specific sections of Aadhaar Act which require entities to mandatorily obtain consent of an individual before collecting authentication related information, and also inform them about the purpose of the authentication. When contacted, UIDAI spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.

In November 2016, Airtel Payments Bank had rolled out banking services in Rajasthan, becoming the first payments bank to go live in the country.

Payments banks can accept deposits and savings bank deposits from individuals and small businesses, up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh per account.

  1. S
    subhash
    Oct 30, 2017 at 8:02 pm
    we went to airtel retailer for re verification of ourmobiles by linking with aadhar card 0n 27/5/17 but airtel payment fraudulently open the account without our knowledge and consent. we objected this, sent mails to register our concern and close the account but airtel bank is not listening. airtel and airtel payment bank are totally fraud company.airtel is earning through cheating and fraud and picking the account of the customers and not through services. it is not possible for indivisual costomer to fight so some collective effort should be taken to fight in the court.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Oct 15, 2017 at 11:00 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
        Sep 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm
        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. A centralized and interlinked database can lead to commercial abuse. 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.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Sep 21, 2017 at 7:14 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, and the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked. The other reasons were the unreliability of such a large-scale biometric verification processes, and the ethics of using biometric identification.
          Reply
          1. R
            Reader
            Sep 21, 2017 at 7:14 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 issuing Social Security Number.
            Reply
            1. R
              Reader
              Oct 15, 2017 at 11:06 am
              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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