UIDAI introduces 16-digit Virtual ID to secure Aadhaar data

aadhaar-card-image The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a 16-digit temporary Virtual ID (VID) which will be used instead of Aadhaar number to authenticate identity for availing services from March 1. This move has come in the wake of a security breach of Aadhaar which was reported by a Chandigarh-based national daily.

The UIDAI has also brought in Limited KYC (Know Your Customer) and UID Tokens, in an attempt to secure the privacy and security concerns about Aadhaar numbers being used and stored by many public and private entities.

The UIDAI said, “Today the initiative, which is aimed at minimising instances of leak and misuse of Aadhaar numbers, would enhance privacy of the 119 crore people issued the identification number.”

 “The UIDAI, which had been working on the “Virtual ID” for months, made the announcement at a time privacy concerns around Aadhaar peaked after a newspaper expose on unauthorised access of its database earlier this month,” it further said.

A person can generate a new 16-digit Virtual ID through UIDAI’s portal, enrollment centers, Aadhaar’s mobile app, etc. for various services as the older ID gets automatically cancelled after a period of time. The Virtual ID, which is similar to an OTP, will be then submitted to Aadhaar servers to confirm the person’s identity.