Centre will inspect and audit 50,000 Aadhaar enrolment centres

A villager goes through the process of a fingerprint scanner for the Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in Rajasthan. Photo: Reuters
The government has decided to conduct an independent audit of more than 50,000 Aadhaar enrolment centres after facing questions over the privacy and security of the Aadhaar systems in the Supreme Court.

The government will assign three auditors to inspect enrolment centres in person.

According to Economics Times, photographs of staff and equipment, video of ongoing enrolment process, will be taken at the centres.

What will they assess?

The three auditors would be allotted 10,000 centres apiece in the first year. 

They will assess if the centres are adhering to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) processes and guidelines

Check if the hardware and software deployed at the enrolment centres are as per UIDAI specifications

Inspect if the enrolment centre is not involved in any corrupt practices

The auditors will check if people are not being overcharged for Aadhaar services.

Inspect if the Centre is covered with CCTV

Aadhaar Data leak

In April,  Aadhaar data had leaked from a number of government institutions tasked with collecting the data for various purposes. These institutions include the JDSS, the Kerela pension department and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

UIDAI asked government organisations to ensure that they don’t reveal Aadhaar numbers and to figure out how the data got leaked.

According to the Aadhaar Act, publicly revealing Aadhaar numbers is illegal.

Pavan Duggal, a leading expert in Cyberlaw has pointed out multiple times that the Aadhaar Act is utterly inadequate when it comes to cybersecurity, protecting the privacy of individuals and for offering remedial options to affected persons.

Essentially, he said that the law “fails to provide parameters for cybersecurity.”

Unless this, and the innumerable issues surrounding Aadhaar are first addressed, leaks like this will only become more commonplace.

Aadhaar is safe: UIDAI

“Even if someone gets hold of a machine on which enrolment took place, it will take a billion years to crack open a single encrypted Aadhaar data packet. So Aadhaar is safe,” says the brief reviewed by ET.

New regulations propose a system of audit

Last month, new regulations on Aadhaar put the onus on the central and state governments to devise a mechanism for auditing stakeholders to ensure they are following the regulations.

The regulations proposed stringent norms on data sharing and a system of audit.  "An ecosystem of certified auditors will be created so that it can be ensured that the use of Aadhaar is as per the provisions of the Aadhaar Act,” said A.B. Pandey, chief executive of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Aadhaar deadline extended

The Centre on Wednesday extended the deadline for obtaining Aadhaar for availing government schemes and subsidies by three months to December 31.

The extension is, however, only for those who are yet to apply for Aadhaar, an order issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said.

As many as 135 schemes, including the free cooking gas (LPG) to poor women, kerosene and fertiliser subsidy, targeted public distribution system and MGNREGA will be covered by the extension.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel