- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a statutory authority established under the provisions of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 (“Aadhaar Act 2016”) in 2016 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
- UIDAI was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), named as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India. The UID had to be (a) robust enough to eliminate duplicate and fake identities, and (b) verifiable and authenticable in an easy, cost-effective way.
- As on 31 March 21, the Authority has issued 128.99 crore Aadhaar numbers to the residents of India.
- Under the Aadhaar Act 2016, UIDAI is responsible for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication, including operation and management of all stages of Aadhaar life cycle, developing the policy, procedure, and system for issuing Aadhaar numbers to individuals and perform authentication and the security of identity information and authentication records of individuals.
Why in News?
- Entities are required to obtain residents’ informed consent either on paper or electronically before carrying out Aadhaar authentications, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has highlighted in its new guidelines for Requesting Entities (REs).
- UIDAI has urged REs, which carry out online authentications, to ensure that residents understand the type of data being collected and the purpose of Aadhaar authentications.
- REs are engaged in providing Aadhaar authentication services to residents. REs are responsible for submitting the Aadhaar number and demographic/ biometric OTP information to the Central Identities Data Repository for the purpose of authentication.
- REs generally should not store Aadhaar either in physical or electronic form without masking or redacting the first 8 digits of the Aadhaar number. UIDAI has guided REs to store an Aadhaar number only if it is authorized to do so, and in the manner as prescribed by the UIDAI.
- It has further asked REs to provide effective grievance handling mechanisms for residents and cooperate with UIDAI and other agencies deputed by it for any security audit as required under the law and regulations.