Aadhaar is going to clean up the system and has become dangerous for many: RS Sharma,
You have gone out of your way to say that there has never been any data breach when comes to Aadhaar. Do you stick with that statement especially after recent controversy?
No, as I said in my article yesterday, what happens is suppose you have a user name and a password and you give it to somebody. Is that a data breach, is that a weakness of the system? A data breach occurs if the system is weak. Now if I share my password and username with somebody and who can do transactions, then it is not a data breach.It is essentially a breach of trust and that is what I have said.
Aadhaar has two components – one of which is biometric information of the resident. Now that biometric information and there are 12 biometric informations of each resident, 10 fingerprints and both iris. So multiply 12 with 1.2, it becomes about 15 billion biometrics. Not even a single biometric has been leaked in the last seven years that the Aadhaar has been in existence. That is one part.
Secondly the current example. There have been earlier examples also where some state governments published the list of beneficiaries with their Aadhaar numbers and somebody aggregated them and said 1.3 million Aadhaar numbers have been leaked. But that is not a leak.
What do you think is going on? I know that Mr Nandan Nilekani who is the architect of the UIDAI, has told ET Now in no uncertain terms that this is a campaign against Aadhaar. Do you belong in that camp, that particular view?
protected Aadhaar number and every day 6,00,000 of these e-Aadhaar are being downloaded on an average. In a month, it is 2 crore and in five years or 60 months, it is 120 crore. So 120 crore e-Aadhaar or digitally signed Aadhaars have been downloaded. Even I have downloaded my…
Yes you can do it as many times as you want and you can share it, you can actually send it suppose somebody requires the copy of your Aadhaar letter, you just share this digitally signed copy.
No, no, the point is that a) one is an Aadhaar letter. See I will give you my Aadhaar letter and see what you can do with that. There is nothing secret in Aadhaar number. It is a 12-digit random number and basically it is associated with your person. So suppose there are Naintaras, let us say Naintara one and Naintara two, to distinguish them basically one will have one number and another will have another number.
Biometrics have two purposes in Aadhaar ecosystem; one is essentially when you enrol for Aadhaar you give your biometrics, they are used to ensure that you are not able to get two Aadhaar numbers, that is one part. So ensuring uniqueness is one of the purposes of biometrics. The purpose later of the biometrics is to authenticate every time. These are the two purposes.The biometrics at the backend are always kept encrypted with the highest encryption standards.
Do you think there are big funds and a lot of money which is orchestrating this campaign that you believe exist?
I should not give statements for which I have no proof. I am not really in possession of any proof of those type of assertions and therefore I will not go that extent. But the only sense which I get is that there is certainly an orchestrated campaign because you know some trivial things like somebody publishing the Aadhaar numbers in compliance with the RTI Act, Section 4 of RTI Act mandates
that the state governments must publish the list of their beneficiaries in association with Aadhaar number. Suppose there are 10 Rams in a village and you publish the list of 10 Rams and who knows which Ram is who and therefore Aadhaar number is published. I don’t see anything wrong in that. That is what was being done and suddenly somebody says that a huge Aadhaar breach has taken place.
Similarly, somebody just gets hold of the typical e-Aadhaar facility which in any case is openly available and then claims that I have got access to one billion Aadhaars. All these things seem to be done to discredit the system.
No, I will not answer that hypothetical question…
I will not go into…