Officials of the India's largest commercial lender State Bank of India (SBI) have alleged misuse of Aadhaar data, while Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the authority that established the database, has denied the charge, says a media report. SBI officials informed UIDAI that the log-ins and biometrics of their Aadhaar operators have been misused to generate unauthorised Aadhaar cards, according to a Times of India report.
Denying the charges, UIDAI has said, "Aadhaar database is fully secured and no security breach, biometric or otherwise, has taken place." According to the leading daily, the SBI was given an Aadhaar enrolment target for Chandigarh region for which it had hired vendors - FIA Technology Services Pvt Ltd and Sanjivini Consultants. The Chandigarh region covers Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, J&K and the Union Territory of Chandigarh itself.
However, of 250 operators associated with the agencies, nearly half were either deactivated or blacklisted in two months, which led to halt of Aadhaar enrolment programme at many of SBI's branches. In December 2018, UIDAI had imposed a fine of over Rs 33 lakh one of the accused Vikram, who was an Aadhaar operator working at the SBI branch in Uchana village in Jind, Haryana. The Aadhaar issuing body had said that Vikram generated bogus Aadhaar cards using fake documents and "multiple station IDs" in his name between November 9 and November 17, 2018. The report also highlighted that devices such as laptop, desktop or tablet, used for Aadhaar enrolment is registered with UIDAI and identified by the "station ID".
As the incident came to light, the bank's executives in Chandigarh raised their concerns before to the corporate office in Mumbai to take up the matter with UIDAI, highlighting that they did not create these multiple station IDs and there must have been some loopholes in UIDAI's security system that allowed "someone to hack the system and generate multiple station IDs" in Vikram's name, the report stated.
An internal investigation by the SBI and its vendor gave a clean chit to Vikram against the UIDAI charges. The bank has also requested the UIDAI to remove the penalty and allow him to return to work, it added.The bank has also urged the UIDAI to offer an explanation on the incident and the creation of multiple station ids. "We have, through our corporate office in Mumbai, raised this issue with UIDAI. The authority should be more transparent with us and let us know how this is happening. They should also guide us on the issue and, above all, make their database more secure," SBI deputy general manager B Rajendra Kumar told ToI.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar