Aadhaar. Live with it for now
Aadhaar. The one stop solution to all the authentication needs as envisaged by the Government of India. It has been the “talk of the town” since the time the government made it mandatory to link Aadhaar to anything in between, and including, life and death. As usual we have those who are for and those against this implementation. And then we have those like me. The ones feel that it could be beneficial as a whole but is being implemented too hastily. And without due diligence. There has been uproar across various sections regarding the data security and right to individual privacy. The Supreme Court has its horns locked with the government over this issue.
All said and done, the mandate to Aadhaar with the various services you avail, is here to stay. The UIDAI has somehow wrestled the recent fiasco with of Aadhaar data access. You may recall from my previous post how the UIDAI had introduced various measures like mAadhaar for ease of access and biometric lock for biometric security. If reports are true, UIDAI has plans to introduce another robust measure to tackle data security issue. The introduction of Virtual Aadhaar number, #VirtualID or #AadhaarVID, if implemented properly, can be a boon to data security.
How #VirtualID or #AadhaarVID (Works
Virtual number generation for data security has been in existence since more than a decade. I had come across the concept of Virtual Cards when Visa introduced it for added online transaction security. If implemented similarly, here’s how it could work.
If you would need to carry out an authentication, but would not want to part with your actual Aadhaar number for security reasons, you could go online (either on the website or the mobile app) and generate a virtual number. The number random, and most likely 12 digit like Aadhaar. It would be linked to your Aadhaar data, but would be temporary in nature, only for the purpose of authentication. Using the number, the service provider can fetch your basic details like name and address which are enough for authentication. Once authenticated, the number would cease to exist. You would be required to generate another virtual number if you needed to carry out another authentication.
The beauty of this system is that your real number remains concealed. The drawback is that it is dependent on your connectivity to the UIDAI database. In any case, spreading awareness on how to use this feature will be a mammoth of a task for UIDAI, especially among the technologically illiterate population.
Please note, the post above outlines the concept of virtual card and how UIDAI might implemented it. Details will follow once we have more information on this.