Home / News / India /  Centre withdraws statement advising public against sharing Aadhar photocopies, cites ‘misinterpretation’

The government on Sunday withdrew its press note cautioning citizens on sharing Aadhar card details with any organisation to prevent misuse. In a new press release, the government cited possibility of ‘misinterpretation’ as a reason to withdraw it. 

Further, Aadhaar holders are only advised to exercise normal prudence in using and sharing it, the notice issued by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said.

“This is in pursuant of the Press Release dated 27 May 2022 by the Bengaluru Regional Office, UIDAI," the Ministry of Electronics & IT said today.

“It is learnt that it was issued by them in the context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card. The release advised the people to not to share photocopy of their Aadhaar with any organization because it can be misused. Alternatively, a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last 4 digits of Aadhaar number, can be used," the statement read.

It added, “In view of the possibility of the misinterpretation of the Press Release, the same stands withdrawn with immediate effect."

Earlier, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had asked citizens to only share masked copies of their Aadhaar cards to prevent misuse. 

In a press release, it had said, "Do not share photocopy of your Aadhaar with any organisation as it can be misused. Alternatively, please use a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last four digits of your Aadhaar number."

The authority has suggested the use of masked Aadhaar, which displays only the last 4 digits of your Aadhaar number, that can be downloaded from UIDAI's official website https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in.

The existence of any Aadhaar number can be verified at https://myaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/verifyAadhaar. To verify offline, you can scan the QR code on eAadhaar or Aadhaar letter or Aadhaar PVC card using a QR code scanner in the mAadhaar mobile application, informed UIDAI.

"Further, unlicensed private entities are like hotels and film halls are not allowed to collect or keep copies of Aadhaar card," the notice issued earlier read.

"Only those organisations that have obtained a User License from the Unique Identification Authority of India can use Aadhaar for establishing the identity of a person," the government had stated.

The warning triggered alarm on social media as screengrabs of the press release and news articles went viral, with the issue among the top 10 trending topics in India on Twitter on Sunday.

"I might have stayed in almost a 100 hotels who kept a copy of my Aadhar! Now this," said Twitter user @_NairFYI.


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