Don’t laminate your Aadhaar cards: In the wake of the recent breaching issues of privacy and misusage of Aadhaar card database, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has today cautioned people against laminating their “smart” cards.
Don’t laminate your Aadhaar cards, Says UIDAI
Opting for plastic cards or laminating one’s own Aadhaar card may open up the possibility of Aadhaar details that is – personal sensitive demographic information that can be misused by the anti-social elements also without the consent of Aadhaar card holders.
In a press conference addressed by the UIDAI, “a cutaway portion or downloaded versions of Aadhaar on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are perfectly valid.”
The UIDAI chief executive officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey said in a statement, “If a person has a paper Aadhaar card, there is absolutely no need to get his/her Aadhaar card laminated or obtain a plastic Aadhaar card or so called smart Aadhaar card by paying money. There is no concept such as smart or plastic Aadhaar card.”
Furthering his statement he said, “Printing Aadhaar on a plastic/PVC sheet privately can cost anywhere between Rs50 and Rs300 or more”. So Aadhaar card holders must understand that a printout of the downloaded Aadhaar card, even in black and white, is as valid as the original Aadhaar card.
The UIDAI chief executive officer Ajay Bhushan Pandey mentioned, “If anybody’s Aadhaar card is lost – he/she can download the card free from https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in.”
Pranesh Prakash, policy director at think tank Centre for Internet and Society while speaking to the media said, ““I feel a lot more has to be done by UIDAI. Sadly, by encouraging people to rely on printed Aadhaar ‘cards’, UIDAI is ending up with the worst of both worlds with respect to personal data protection: photocopies of so-called Aadhaar cards/letter are being circulated to facilitate identity fraud as well as the kind of dangerous personal data disclosures that centralized databases enable. Last month, UIDAI put in place a two-layer security to reinforce privacy protections for Aadhaar holders—it introduced a virtual identification so that the actual number need not be shared to authenticate their identity. Simultaneously, it further regulated the storage of the Aadhaar numbers within various databases.”
UIDAI in its website highlighted – “Under the direction of Government of India – unauthorized agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from people, reminding them that collecting such information or unauthorized printing of Aadhaar card is a criminal offense punishable with imprisonment.”