UIDAI files FIRs against 8 websites for collecting Aadhaar-related information

UIDAI filed FIRs against eight websites, seeking to curb fraudulent activities promising Aadhaar-related services and illegal collection of information from people


At present, any Aadhaar-related demographic information can only be shared following the procedures laid down in the Aadhaar Act, 2016. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
At present, any Aadhaar-related demographic information can only be shared following the procedures laid down in the Aadhaar Act, 2016. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has filed FIRs against eight websites, seeking to curb fraudulent activities promising Aadhaar-related services and illegal collection of information from people.

The sites are aadhaarupdate.com, aadhaarindia.com, pvcaadhaar.in, aadhaarprinters.com, geteaadhaar.com, downloadaadhaarcard.in, aadharcopy.in, and duplicateaadharcard.com.

“We found that even after we ordered the shutting down of some unauthorised websites, some new websites had come up. This time, we have lodged an FIR against the erring websites,” said Ajay Bhushan Pandey, chief executive officer, UIDAI.

These websites were collecting Aadhaar number and enrolment details illegally from residents and promising Aadhaar services posing as entities authorized by UIDAI.

In February, UIDAI had shut down 12 websites and 12 mobile applications to curb unauthorized Aadhaar related services.

It had also directed authorities to close another 26 fraudulent and illegal websites and mobile applications.

According to UIDAI, the websites and companies extending unauthorized services, tantamount to violation under Information Technology Act 2000, Section 38 of Aadhaar Act 2016, and Section 409 (Criminal breach of trust) and Section 420 (cheating) of IPC.

Under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, intentionally copying Aadhaar data is a criminal offence and entails a three-year sentence and a fine.

The authority will continue to take stringent action against such sites and also asked the public to use UIDAI official website (www.uidai.gov.in) for all Aadhaar-related services, added Pandey.

Late February, UIDAI had also filed a complaint against Axis Bank Ltd, business correspondent Suvidhaa Infoserve and e-sign provider eMudhra, alleging they had attempted unauthorized authentication and impersonation by illegally storing Aadhaar biometrics. The breach was noticed after one individual performed 397 biometric transactions between 14 July 2016 and 19 February 2017. All three entities have been temporarily barred from offering Aadhaar-related services until UIDAI makes a final decision.

Last month, UIDAI blacklisted an overenthusiastic common services centre for 10 years after the Aadhaar details of former cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni were shared on social media.

At present, any Aadhaar-related demographic information can only be shared following the procedures laid down in the Aadhaar Act, 2016.

There are more than 1.13 billion Aadhaar number holders in the country.

PTI contributed to this copy.

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