The government’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has warned the citizens not to share or distribute photocopies of their Aadhaar cards with any organisation as they can be misused. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), in a press release, stated, “Do not share photocopy of your Aadhaar with any organisations because it can be misused.”
The statement also suggested citizens use a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last 4 digits of the Aadhaar number. It can be downloaded from UIDAI’s official website https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in. UDAI suggested selecting the option “Do you want a masked Aadhaar” before proceeding to download.
UDAI added that the existence of any Aadhaar number can be verified at https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/verifyAadhaar.
Additionally, to verify any Aadhaar number offline, one can scan the QR code on e-Aadhaar or Aadhaar letter or Aadhaar PVC card using a QR code scanner in the mAadhaar mobile application, it added.
The government also urged citizens to avoid using a public computer at an internet café or kiosk to download their e-Aadhaar. However if one still needs to do so, they must ensure to delete all the downloaded copies of e-Aadhaar permanently from that computer.
The public release also revealed that “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.”