No more Aadhaar-based eKYC for mobile numbers: Key details of UIDAI’s directive to Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone following SC verdict

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New Delhi | October 02, 2018 3:45 PM

Aadhaar based eKYC for mobile numbers: The parent body of the Aadhaar categorically stated that if they fail to submit an "action plan/exit plan" by October 15, “the authentication services shall be terminated without any further notice”.

AADHAAR BASED ekycAadhaar based eKYC for mobile numbers: In a landmark judgment last week, the Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. 

Aadhaar based eKYC for mobile numbers: Following the Supreme Court’s order on linking the Aadhaar to mobile phone numbers , the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked telecom companies including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea to come up with a plan to put an end to the practice of using the 12-digit ID for authentication within 15 days. The parent body of the Aadhaar categorically stated that if they fail to submit an “action plan/exit plan” by October 15, “the authentication services shall be terminated without any further notice”. The letter was also marked to Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Secretary Aruna Sundarajan.

The UIDAI circular said, “…all TSPs are called upon to immediately take actions in order to comply with the judgement dated 26.09.2018. In this regard, TSPs are hereby directed to submit by 15th October, 2018, an action plan/exit plan to the authority for closure of use of Aadhaar based authentication systems…” Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan Mathews said, “operators will need to coordinate with the DoT to obtain clarity on the way forward.”

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told PTI: “In order to ensure smooth discontinuation…there are certain requirements which are there under the Aadhaar regulations…so the companies are in the best position to know what exactly is needed and they can submit their plan by October 15. If any additional requirements are to be done from the UIDAI side, we will tell them after receipt of their plan.”

What the UIDAI has said?

In a landmark judgment last week, the Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act allowed private companies to use the 12-digit biometric ID-based eKYC. Following this, private companies like telecom operators will not be able to use this instantaneous and inexpensive Aadhaar eKYC route mandatorily. Instead, the option of exercising this option for verification will now rest with the consumer.

The government is anticipating that there will be a number of requests by people asking for their Aadhaar details to be delinked from services, including mobile service providers. The UIDAI’s communique to telcos, thus, is on expected lines.

* According to UIDAI, in cases where the customer has asked for his mobile number to be delinked with Aadhaar, telecom companies will have to carry out a fresh Know Your Customer (KYC) within six weeks of delinking to ensure that the numbers are not deactivated.

* All service providers will have to necessarily notify customers of the facility to delink their Aadhaar from their mobile number. The service provider, UIDAI said, must put in place a system to facilitate this delinking process.

* Telcos have until October 15 to submit an action plan to to UIDAI to end Aadhaar-based authentication. Failure on part of a service priovider to submit an alternate action plan will lead to its authentication services being terminated without any further notice, the UIDAI said.

While we are yet to hear from telcos on the action plan, the route ahead will require telcos to go back to alternatives like legacy paper-based technique (collect physical paper forms with signature, photographs, ship to verification centre and call up the customer to cross-verify submitted details). The turn around time in this route is between 24-36 hours.

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