The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) along with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued a statement on Thursday dismissing rumours that if a mobile number that is Aadhaar KYC-compliant then it will be disconnected without fresh verification. The reports stated that around 50 crore mobile numbers are at risk of being disconnected. Refuting the report, the joint statement says that such reports try to create "unnecessary panic" by claiming that SIM cards procured on the basis of Aadhaar verification will be disconnected without additional fresh identification.
The statement says that the Supreme Court's judgment did not mention such a condition. "Therefore, there is absolutely no reason for panic or fear at all. People should not believe in such rumours. The Court has also not asked to delete all the eKYC data of telecom customers after 6 months," the statement said.
The authorities also clarified that the apex court only asked UIDAI to not keep authentication log for more than 6 months. "The restriction of not keeping authentication log beyond six months is on the UIDAI and not on the telecom companies. Therefore, there is no need for telecom companies or AUAs/KUAs to delete authentication logs at their end. They are in fact required to keep authentication logs at their end as per Aadhaar regulations to resolve any consumer grievances," they said.
The statement further mentioned that anyone who wishes to get his or her Aadhaar eKYC replaced with fresh KYC may request the service provider to delink his or her Aadhaar by submitting fresh official valid documents (OVD).
The joint statement further reiterated that the Supreme Court has only prohibited the issue of new SIM cards through Aadhaar eKYC authentication process due to lack of law, which does not mean that old mobile phones will be deactivated.
The statement further added that the DoT and UIDAI are in the process of bringing out a completely hassle-free, digital process for issuing new SIM cards through a mobile app that will be fully compliant with the Supreme Court's judgment. "In the proposed process, live photograph of the person with latitude, longitude, and time stamp will be captured. The photo of her ID such as Aadhaar card, voter ID, etc., will be captured. The SIM card agent will be authenticated through OTP and SIM card will be issued," the statement said.
The report doing the rounds says that almost half of India's phone population faces a risk of disconnection unless fresh verification is done, following the apex court's decision to bar private companies from using an individual's unique ID for authentication process.
(Edited by Anwesha Madhukalya)