At UIDAI’s fortress ‘guarding’ Aadhaar data: Watertight security with 13-feet high walls, 200 security cameras

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New Delhi | Updated: March 27, 2018 9:41:47 AM

The Centre's attempts to assuage concerns in Supreme Court over the security of Aadhaar data of over a billion Indians had a high point - the mention of a wall that is 13-feet high and 5-feet wide".

UIDAI AADHAAR CENTRE As it turns out, the UIDAI Central Identities Data Repository complex in Haryana’s Manesar that houses the data of 1.9 billion Indians is indeed a fortress.

The Centre’s attempts to assuage concerns in Supreme Court over the security of Aadhaar data of over a billion Indians had a high point – the mention of a wall that is 13-feet high and 5-feet wide”. As it turns out, the UIDAI Central Identities Data Repository complex in Haryana’s Manesar that houses the data of 1.9 billion Indians is indeed a fortress. Plush with 200 security cameras and a 159-strong CISF contingent to guard it, it appears strong enough to protect the crucial data of citizens from any threat – physical, that is.

A ground report from The Indian Express reveals that the data centre not only confirms that the centre does indeed have a 13-feet high wall, but also has 200 surveillance cameras/CCTVs and over 150 CISF personnel guarding the data of Indian citizens constantly.

Watertight safety measures

The complex in Manesar is the main centre. This complex, along with a “secondary” centre in Bengaluru, houses Aadhaar details of 1.19 billion countrymen. The Manesar complex is spread over five-acre of land. It has been learnt that a 159-member CISF contingent has been deployed for safeguarding and patrolling the building. The wall of the building is grey, beige and spotless and showcases no graffiti, according to the IE report.

About the building

Subhash Chand Tyagi, who heads the CISF contingent, claimed that there is a three-tier check before one even makes it to the entrance of the building. Apparently, the complex has no signboards that identify the building except for a small one. It reads, “Mera Aadhaar, Meri Pehchaan, Unique Identification Authority of India, Technology Centre — Office Complex”. The building also has the Aadhaar logo on it.

Employees, working hours

Tyagi said about 250 employees work in the centre, most of them from HCL and Wipro. There is 24-hour security and employees work in three shifts: 6 am, 1 pm and 9 pm, with 40-50 staff in each. Apart from the CISF, there are two private security agencies that provide 22 guards who patrol the building.”

What do Centre and UIDAI say?

A raft of petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act have been filed in the Supreme Court. During the hearing last week, Attorney General K K Venugopal told a five-judge Constitution Bench that a “fortified” barrier safeguarding data of the world’s largest biometric ID system against any physical attacks. Subsequently, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey informed the apex court that it would take the fastest computer currently available “more than the life of the universe” to break Aadhaar’s 2048-bit encryption.

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