Facing questions over the privacy and security of the Aadhaar systems in the Supreme Court, the government has decided to conduct an independent audit of all 50,000-odd Aadhaar enrolment centres and inspect them in person.
Three independent auditors will assess if enrolment centres are adhering to UIDAI processes and guidelines, if the hardware and software deployed at the enrolment centres are as per UIDAI specifications check if the enrolment centre is not involved in any corrupt practices and people are not being overcharged for Aadhaar services.
UIDAI has engaged enrolment agencies as registrars who have set up enrolment centres by hiring operators and supervisors and UIDAI recommended hardware. There have been concerns raised in the past over how the registrars are capturing demographic and biometric detail of residents and uploading them to UIDAI’s Central Identification Data Depository. UIDAI has claimed its systems are secure and it will pass the ‘privacy test’ before SC.
UIDAI is also launching a major information drive to impress upon people the benefits of linking their Aadhaar with their bank account, PAN, mobile number or ration cards and put to rest security concerns. In a brief for private agencies to make short films, UIDAI says there have been “wild allegations that CIA has gained access to Aadhaar data” and said nothing could be more untrue.