The government on Friday asked citizens to use their Aadhaar confidently to avail benefits and services, but also told them to observe same level of usage hygiene like any other identity documents including bank account, PAN or passport.
“Aadhaar is residents’ digital ID, and it works as a single source of online and offline identity verification for residents across the country. Residents can use their Aadhaar number to verify and validate their identity credentials either electronically or through offline verification,” the Ministry of Electronics & IT said in a statement.
While sharing Aadhaar with any trusted entity, the same level of caution may be exercised which one does at the time of sharing mobile number, bank account number or any other identity document like passport, voter IdD, PAN, ration card etc, it added.
The ministry said that wherever a resident does not wish to share his or her Aadhaar number, UIDAI provides facility for generating Virtual Identifier (VID). One can easily generate VID by visiting the official website or via myaadhaar portal, and use it for authentication in place of the Aadhaar number. This VID can be changed after the end of the calendar day.
UIDAI also provides the facility of Aadhaar locking as well as biometric locking. If a resident is not likely to use Aadhaar for a period of time, he or she may lock Aadhaar or biometrics for such a time period. The same can be unlocked conveniently and instantly, as and when required.
The UIDAI provides technologically advanced ecosystem to ensure safe, smooth and speedy authentication experience to the Aadhaar number holder. The various provisions of the Aadhaar Act and its Regulations mandate that the entities taking Aadhaar number from the residents use and store it in a secure and legally permissible manner.
Entities seeking Aadhaar are obligated to obtain consent which should specify the purpose for which it is being taken. UIDAI urges residents to please insist for it.
A resident can check Aadhaar authentication history for last six months on UIDAI website or m-Aadhaar app. Also, UIDAI intimates about every authentication over email. Therefore, linking email Id with Aadhaar will ensure that a resident gets intimation every time his or her Aadhaar number is authenticated.
Several services can be availed with OTP-based Aadhaar authentication, and keeping mobile number updated with Aadhaar is a beneficial move.
UIDAI also urged residents not to leave Aadhaar letter / PVC Card, or its copy thereof, unattended. Residents are advised not to share Aadhaar openly in public domain particularly on social media and other public platforms. Aadhaar holders should not disclose Aadhaar OTP to any unauthorized entity and refrain from sharing m-Aahaar PIN with anyone.
In case of suspicion of any unauthorized use of Aadhaar or for any other Aadhaar related query, Aadhaar holders may contact UIDAI on toll-free helpline 1947 which is available 24×7 and/or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, it said.