Following the reports of a cyber attack related to the leak of Aadhaar Card data, Nandan Nilekani's biometric ID system is in headlines. The model of the Aadhaar Card is roughly made on the lines of the huge database of Fingerprints created by FBI Director J Edgar Hoover.
In a report of The Tribune, it was claimed that an 'online agent' allowed the reporter to view private information of one million numbers by giving log ID and password instead of 500 rupees. According to the claim, information, name, address, postal code, photo, phone number, e-mail etc. could be seen in this information.
However, the Special Investigation Team of a news agency revealed that the racket attached to the database is not limited to online and it is spread over a wider scale. The investigation revealed that agents of several Enrollment Agencies were ready to sell records of information obtained from Aadhaar applicants for the only Rs.2 to Rs.5.
According to Uidai.gov.in, the services of the Enrollment Agencies were taken on behalf of the registrars. Under these UIDAI procedures, the citizens were to enroll their demographic and biometric data by enroling them. One such agency is located in 'Alankit Assignments' Faridabad. Here, the under-cover reporter businessman from the branch chief Ishpal Singh talked about buying base data to find potential customers.
On this, Ishpal put the file of 250 applicants on the table and said that this is the base data and 15,000 such data will be given to you. Ishhap demanded Rs 30,000 for this work. Surprisingly, Ishpal is ready to give the names, addresses, birthdays, mobile numbers and e-mail information of a base applicant in just 2 rupees.
After this, Ishpal advised the under-cover reporters to copy down every information from their dossiers. Ishpal said, "I will give you a bundle of 250 farms. I have a record of 50,000 applicants. You can get all the data."
The investigation revealed how Section 28 openings of the Aadhaar Act were being openly opened. According to section 28, UIDAI has the responsibility to ensure the security and confidentiality of the identity of the applicants and its certification record. Section 28 further states that the authorities must adopt and implement the necessary technical and organizational security measures.
At the same time, while ensuring agreement or contract with agents, consultants and others, they must follow these safeguards. Aadhaar Card formulator Nandan Nilekani had claimed the security of the base in April last year. They said that this is a very safe system.
The Under Cover Reporters visited another Enrollment Center located in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. These centers show ready to sell data of 4-5 lakh applicants. Ashish Gupta, the senior officer here, talked about not only providing the database from this center but also three more centers under its control in Delhi.
When Ashish Gupta was asked if he could provide information about all the applicants of Indirapuram, he said, "I will make available data on Excel Sheet". Ashish Gupta offered to get information or about Rs.3-4 per applicant
An Enrollment Center located in Sector 10, Noida, too, will not be different in this case. Here, Chief Agent Sonu asked for an information amount of Rs 4-5 per applicant to give information. Sonu claimed that he has created 40,000 base cards so far. Sonu offered to provide PDF copy of the acknowledgment of applicants' information. These Agents and Officers are engaged in this crackdown, showing the provisions of the Aadhaar Act openly.
Section 37 of the Aadhaar Act says, "The dissemination or intentional disclosure of information related to the identity of any person is not authorized under the Aadhaar Act. The violation of any agreement under the Act can be sentenced to imprisonment up to three years or fine up to ten thousand rupees (in case of person). In case of a company, the penalty can be up to one lakh rupees."