Centre withdraws UIDAI warning citing misinterpretation

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New Delhi: After facing backlash on a warning issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) asking people to avoid sharing photocopies of Aadhar card with any organisations, the Centre on Sunday said that the information stands void as it has been misinterpreted.

In a fresh order, the Centre said, “In view of the possibility of the misinterpretation of the Press Release, the same stands withdrawn with immediate effect. UIDAI issued Aadhaar card holders are only advised to exercise normal prudence in using and sharing their UIDAI Aadhaar numbers.”

Earlier in the day, the Bengaluru Regional Office, UIDAI, had issued a warning alerting the Aadhdar card users to use masked copies instead of sharing its photocopy.  

The authorities had suggested to share the document with the ones having valid license. It said, “Only those organizations that have obtained a User License from the UIDAI can use Aadhaar for establishing the identity of a person. Unlicensed private entities like hotels or film halls are not permitted to collect or keep copies of Aadhaar card.” 

“It is an offence under the Aadhaar Act 2016. If a private entity demands to see Aadhaar card or seeks a photocopy of Aadhaar card, please verify that they have a valid User License from the UIDAI,” it said. 

To which, the Centre responded, “It is learnt that it was issued by them in the context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card. The release advised the people to not to share photocopy of their Aadhaar with any organization because it can be misused. Alternatively, a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last 4 digits of Aadhaar number, can be used.” 

“Aadhaar Identity Authentication ecosystem has provided adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder,” added the Press Release. 

Soon after the warning issued by the Bengaluru unit, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at the central government and said, “Government agencies made Aadhar mandatory for years. Now they expect common people to argue about some government notification and risk losing essential services. Not to forget Aadhaar has been used by mobs to harass and kill. In Dewas MP a Muslim vendor was thrashed for not having Aadhar.” 

He further shared few news articles on Twitter claiming inconvenience to the people due to lack of Aadhar card. He tweeted, “A disabled man Bhanwarlal Jain was killed by an ex-BJP corporator on the “suspicion” that he was Muslim and because he “failed” to produce Aadhaar. Numerous instances where Aadhaar has been deadly.” 

first published:May 29, 2022, 7:03 p.m.

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