Telecom operators to face challenges as SC order stops Aadhaar-based eKYC: DoT

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New Delhi | September 27, 2018 8:22 PM

Telecom operators to face challenges in subscribers enrolment as the telecom department today clarified that e-KYC system to register customers using Aadhaar have been stopped, a senior official said Thursday.

Aadhaar, TSP, e-KYC system, UIDAI, Supreme Court, Aruna Sundararajan, Aadhaar dataAccording to industry sources, all telecom operators have moved completely to e-Know Your Customer system to verify customers using Aadhaar and it will be very challenging to acquire new customers in absence of the system.

Telecom operators to face challenges in subscribers enrolment as the telecom department today clarified that e-KYC system to register customers using Aadhaar have been stopped, a senior official said Thursday. “We will meet UIDAI, Law Ministry official and telecom service providers (TSPs) to make sure we are in compliance with SC order and to see way forward. eKYC using Aadhaar has been stopped by (the) Supreme Court,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters. This means that mobile service providers and other private entities cannot ask for Aadhaar for customer registration.

According to industry sources, all telecom operators have moved completely to e-Know Your Customer system to verify customers using Aadhaar and it will be very challenging to acquire new customers in absence of the system. The apex court while holding Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid struck down section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, permitting private entities to avail Aadhaar data.

The section 57 of the act says “Nothing contained in this Act shall prevent the use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose, whether by the State or any body corporate or person, pursuant to any law, for the time being in force, or any contract to this effect”.

A DoT official on condition of anonymity said the department will very soon come out with alternative for digital verification e-KYC if it has not to done through Aadhaar. Telecom operators need to go back to old method of subscriber registration or their can be other way for eKYC. “We will have to see if telecom operators need to go back to old method of subscriber registration or their can be other way for eKYC,” the officer said. According to an official source in the IT ministry: “In the light of judgement they can surely withdraw it. The method will be decided by the Department of Telecom”.

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