Will Aadhaar New Security Layer ‘Virtual ID’ protect your data? Here’s all you need to know

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UIDAI Unique Identification Authority of India on Wednesday introduced ‘Virtual ID’ (VID) to safeguard Aadhaar data. VID will be a 16-digit, randomly-generated number which can be used for authentication instead of the original Aadhaar number, according to UIDAI.The safety feature will also ensure need-based sharing of information through the KYC process. Apart from the Virtual ID, it has also introduced another “Limited KYC” feature.

From June, all service providers will have to mandatorily upgrade their systems so that it accepts the Virtual ID. For instance, if one wants to get a new mobile connection, she/he can provide the Virtual ID  to the service provider, reports The Indian Express.

What Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID) means?

  • UIDAI’s VID will be a 16-digit, randomly-generated number that can be used for authentication instead of the original Aadhaar number
  • VID will be temporary and it will not be possible to derive Aadhaar number from VID.
    How is it protected?
  • VID can be generated only by the Aadhaar number holder.
  • VID, by design being temporary, cannot be used by agencies for de-duplication.
  • VID is revocable and can be replaced by a new one by Aadhaar number holder after the minimum validity period set by UIDAI policy
  • The last digit of the VID is the checksum using ‘Verhoeff’ algorithm as in Aadhaar number. There will be only one active and valid VID for an Aadhaar number at any given time
  • The “Verhoeff” algorithm is a checksum formula for error detection developed by the Dutch mathematician Jacobus Verhoeff and was first published in 1969.

What can be done with VID?

  • Aadhaar number holder can use VID in lieu of Aadhaar number whenever authentication or KYC services are performed.Authentication may be performed using VID in a manner similar to using Aadhaar number.

What are the options available?

  • User will be able to generate, retrieve in case they forget, and replace their VIDs with a new number via UIDAI’s resident portal, Aadhaar Enrollment Center and mAaadhaar mobile application

Meanwhile, Many people have been opposing the mandatory linking of Aadhaar with other services over privacy concerns. Hence the deadline for linking Aadhaar with essential facilities has been repeatedly getting postponed. The current deadline for linking Aadhaar with multiple utilities is March 31.

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