In the wake of recent reports on Aadhaar data breach by various sources, results from a survey revealed that a majority of the respondents were uncomfortable in using their Aadhaar accounts to access e-commerce accounts or digital wallets.
In the recent past, the government has laid a lot of emphasis on consumers to link their Aadhaar with all important documents like PAN, bank account, mobile number, insurance policies and so on. There have also been reports that some ecommerce sites have been asking consumers to link their website accounts with Aadhaar when they are trying to track a lost package. Many other internet-based businesses like payment wallets have also mandated Aadhaar for the consumers to avail their services.
Internet-based companies like AirBnb, Uber and Ola have also been asking the user to upload a copy of their Aadhaar while registering on the site as a safety measure, so that their true identity could be ascertained.
In this regard, a survey was conducted by LocalCircles on around 20,000 people, broadly on the subject of using Aadhaar details on the aforementioned platforms.
The first poll asked if the citizens would feel comfortable in linking their Aadhaar with their e-commerce site accounts. 61 percent said they would not be comfortable while 30 percent said they were fine with it.
When asked if they would be comfortable in linking Aadhaar with their payment wallet accounts, 49 percent refused, while 33 percent agreed, and 18 percent were neutral.
A related poll asked citizens if there should be a financial penalty for banks, telecom providers or any other organisations that compromise their Aadhaar, bank or call/data transaction details, to which 94 percent replied in an affirmative. They said that in case of data leakage, the respective bank or telecom operator should be severely penalised to ensure that they keep the data security measure to the optimum levels.
Recently, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) while responding to some media reports which alleged that "210 Government sites made Aadhaar info public" assured that the Aadhaar data was fully safe and secure, and there has never been a breach or data leak at the UIDAI.
The UIDAI in a notification said the data on these mentioned websites was placed in a public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure under Right to Information (RTI) Act by government and institutional websites, which included the beneficiaries' name, address, bank account, and other details, which also included the Aadhaar number and were collected from the third party/users for various welfare schemes.
Meanwhile, LocalCircles is submitting this report to UIDAI and other stake holders, so that appropriate action could be taken, and cases of data leakage could be minimised.