UIDAI withdraws press release on photocopies of Aadhaar cards to avoid "misinterpretation"
New Delhi, May 29, 2022
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) today withdrew with immediate effect a press release issued on May 27 by its Bengaluru regional office advising people not to share photocopies of their Aadhaar card with any organisations.
"....in view of the possibility of the misinterpretation of the Press Release, the same stands withdrawn with immediate effect," a press release from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, under which UIDAI works, said.
The UIDAI Bengaluru press release had urged people not to share photocopies of their Aadhaar cards with any organisation "because it can be misused".
"Alternatively, please use a marked Aadhaar which displays only the last four digits of your Aadhaar number. It can be downloaded from UIDAI official website https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in. Please select the option 'Do you want a masked Aadhaar?" and proceed to download," it said.
The UIDAI release also advised people to avoid using a public computer at an internet cafe/kiosk to download e-Aadhaar. If they do so, they must delete all the downloaded copies of e-Aadhaar permanently from that computer.
According to that release, only those organisations 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 your Aadhaar card, or seeks a photocopy of your Aadhaar card, please verify that they have valid User License from the UIDAI," the release had said.
The Ministry said today that the UIDAI Bengaluru office had issued that press release "in the context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card".
"UIDAI issued Aadhaar card holders are only advised to exercise normal prudence in using and sharing their UIDAI Aadhaar numbers.
"Aadhaar Identity Authentication ecosystem has provided adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder," the release added.