Aadhaar Data Breach: Privacy of Indians is at risk

Right now, there are rumors which are claiming that one can get access of Aadhaar database for just 500, which have created confusion among Indian citizens for their privacy. Though, this (Aadhaar Data Breach) news has been seriously discarded by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Reports of Aadhaar Data Breach

The report comes to light at a time when the Government of India (GoI) is facing criticism after the UIDAI filed an FIR against The Tribune for a report on the Aadhaar database access . (Rachna Khaira was the reporter who exposed report on Aadhaar data breach).

Whistleblower Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

On 9th of January 2018, American whistleblower Edward Snowden delivered a firm reproof to the Indian government for destroying the privacy of its citizens and spoke out in support of the reporter who broke the Aadhaar data breach story.

In his tweet, he stated that the journalists exposing the Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation….Want to arrest those responsible? They are called UIDAI.

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Let’s know what UIDAI stated regarding to Aadhaar data breach.


To clarify its point regarding to Aadhaar data breach, UIDAI tweeted that there has not been any data breach of biometric database which remains fully safe & secure with highest encryption at UIDAI and mere display of demographic info cannot be misused without biometrics.

Further it stated that UIDAI maintains complete logs and traceability of the facility, and any misuse is traceable.

The chatter of this news is in talk of the town & in this row the white paper of IBRDT on Aadhaar threat has come in public domain that is creating chaos among common man.

White Paper

The white paper titled Biometric and Its Impact in India published by the Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) (in its October 2017 edition). The IDBRT is an affiliated institute of the RBI.

According to IDRBT finding, Aadhaar faces a potential threat from cyber criminals which can cripple the economy.

Aadhaar – Single Target for Cyber Criminals

In an era when cyber threats are frequent, the major challenge for UIDAI is to protect the data under its control since the biometrics is now an important national asset which has huge ramifications for various government programmes and the banking system.

IDRBT finding

Thanks to Aadhaar, for the first time in the history of India, there is now a readily available single target for cyber criminals as well as India’s external enemies.

Some serious privacy concerns by Dr. Ananth over Aadhaar:

  1. Aadhaar – A single target for cyber criminals.
  2. UIDAI’s promise to archive the data for five years.
  3. How businesses will use Aadhaar?

Dr. S Ananth, adjunct faculty of the IDRBT & author of white paper, said:

In a few years, attacking UIDAI data can potentially cripple Indian businesses and administration in ways that were inconceivable a few years ago. The loss to the economy and citizens in case of such an attack is bound to be incalculable.

The paper called for caution in the manner in which Aadhaar is used by the Government of India (GoI), especially as more programmes and economic activities are linked to it.

This one line has million meanings, which is said by Dr. S Ananth on AadhaarOnly time will tell if the benefits outweigh the costs or vice versa.

Note: The Supreme Court has extended the deadline of linking of Aadhaar with various welfare schemes up to March 31, 2018.

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Megha Jain

Engg & Freelance Author

Straight forward