Don't display Aadhaar number publicly, says UIDAI after Trai chief's dare

Don't display Aadhaar number publicly, says UIDAI after Trai chief's dare: The Authority reiterated the Aadhaar number should be shared only if there was a need to do so for establishing identity and for legitimate transactions...

Playing with identity

This refers to the reports on public display of Aadhaar number and Assam NRC list (Business Standard, August 1). Whatever be the intentions of authorities, officials and media participating in this debate, the report on Aadhaar number can mislead the public about the safety aspects of their own identity document, namely Aadhaar card. The report on Assam NRC list is more confusing and authorities need to be more merciful while handling sensitive issues like citizenship. A quick clarification on the following aspects may help:
Safe handling of documents like Aadhaar Card, PAN Card and ATM Card which have security features and sensitive information ingrained in them has to be the responsibility of the owner of such documents. Misuse of ‘stolen’ documents, as rightly mentioned in the report on Aadhaar, being a criminal offense, the law will take its course. While divulging the number and other details in print on these documents should be only for genuine purposes, such information will not remain secret like passwords and PIN numbers. The claims that someone has credited one rupee in a bank account or accessed the postal address of Trai Chairman’s postal address using Aadhaar number are puerile meant to fool those who are not familiar with banking transactions or Google search.
As regards Assam NRC list, as the issue is more sensitive and touching emotions, authorities need to make it clear beyond doubt that the process of compiling the National Registry is still on and make genuine efforts to ensure public support in avoiding further controversies on the issue.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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