Stay away from plastic Aadhaar cards, it's prone to data theft, warns UIDAI

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey advised people to be vigilant and protect their privacy

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has cautioned people not to use plastic or laminated Aadhaar cards as such unauthorised printing at some vendor or shop could make the QR code dysfunctional and there could be a possibility of exposing a person's sensitive demographic information.

The Aadhaar issuing authority said people should not yearn for the so-called Aadhaar smart card as it may make them fall to the ploys of some unscrupulous elements who are printing Aadhaar on a plastic or PVC sheet and charging anywhere between Rs 50 to Rs 300 or more.

The Authority asserted there is no concept such as smart or plastic Aadhaar card.

Also, UIDAI said there could be a possibility of sharing Aadhaar details including personal sensitive demographic information without informed consent with some devious elements.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) reiterated that Aadhaar letter or its cutaway portion or the downloaded version on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are perfectly valid.

Asking people to keep away from such shops or vendors, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, UIDAI said, "So-called Aadhaar smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional. The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is perfectly valid for all kind of uses."

In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, UIDAI said it can be downloaded from the website and the printout of the downloaded Aadhaar card, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by it.

Further, Pandey advised people to be watchful for the protection of their privacy and recommended not to share their Aadhaar number or personal details to unauthorized agencies for getting it laminated, or printed on plastic card.

The Aadhaar issuing authority has also cautioned unauthorised agencies not to collect information from general public for printing of Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorized printing amounts to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code and Aadhaar Act, 2016.

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