India’s rank in Corruption Index belongs to the top tier. However, it has reached to the proportion, where anybody’s bank account can be emptied in a second, and thus, risk of becoming bankrupt is borne underfoot for the common Indians.
A racket has been busted in Punjab by a media house, ‘The Tribune’, Jalandhar, where an anonymous seller has offered a service of providing 1 billion Aadhaar numbers created in India thus far.
The procedure of securing this service was easy entailing the following steps.
- Price was just 500 INR
- Payment through Paytm
- A gateway was created in just 10 minutes by the agent running the racket
- login ID and password was created by the agent
- In the portal, any Aadhaar number can be entered, and instantly all particulars of an individual can be obtained
This is in direct opposition to the claim made by UIDAI last November that “Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.”
The officials of ‘The Tribune’ contacted UIDAI officials in Chandigarh who were shocked at the full access of the data by rackets and admitted that it has been a major breach of national security. The UIDAI technical consultants in Bangaluru were contacted immediately.
In the UIDAI Regional Centre, Chandigarh; Additional Director-General, Sanjay Jindal accepted the lapse and said, “Except the Director-General and I, no third person in Punjab should have a login access to our official portal. Anyone else having access is illegal, and is a major national security breach.”
Gopal Krishan, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties, who appeared before the Special Parliamentary Committee that examined the Aadhaar Bill in 2010 said, “Leakage of Aadhaar data reveals that the project has failed the privacy test. At the recently concluded 11th WTO Ministerial Conference, India submitted a written position on e-commerce, opposing the demand for negotiations on e-commerce by the US and its allies. The latter were demanding access to citizens’ database for free. The revelation by The Tribune also means that the proposed data protection law will now hold no purpose, as the data has already been breached. The state governments must immediately disassociate themselves and cancel the MoU signed with UIDAI.”
What is most astonishing is that news of such huge implication could not make the headlines in the most renowned media houses. The fact that anyone’s bank balance can vanish in a second if this data falls in the hands of the hackers, makes every citizen of the country vulnerable to financial fraudulence. Moreover, if this data falls in the hands of adversary nations such as Pakistan or China – the mis-utilization of it can be dangerous for India. Indian government should take immediate steps to stop the leakage and recapture the stolen data before it is too late. If this is not selling the country for personal benefits, what is it?