Demonstrating zero tolerance to unauthorized websites and mobile applications providing Aadhaar related services illegally by charging excessive money from the public, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in an stern action against them has got shut down 12 websites and 12 mobile applications available on the Google Playstore; and has directed further to close down 26 more such fraudulent and illegal websites/applications.
It came to the notice of UIDAI that these websites and mobile applications downloadable through Google Playstore were providing unauthorized Aadhaar related services such as downloading online Aadhaar card, providing status of Aadhaar generation, PVC Aadhaar Card, etc. to residents and in that process they were illegally obtaining the Aadhaar number/enrolment details from the residents.
“UIDAI has not authorized the owners of these mobile applications or websites to extend any Aadhaar related services on its behalf”, said Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, UIDAI.
He said, “Any Aadhaar-related demographic information can only be shared following the procedures laid down in the Aadhaar Act, 2016. Any such violation is punishable under Section 38 and Chapter VII of the Aadhaar Act that provides punishment for “Whoever, not being authorized by the Authority, intentionally accesses or secures, downloads, copies or extracts any data from the Central Identities Data Repository or stored in any removable storage medium…”
Warning unauthorized websites and mobile applications providers against illegal use of Aadhaar logo in violation of Aadhaar Act and the Copyright Act, Dr. Pandey said, “We are contemplating stern action against them”.
“As per Section 70 of the IT Act, the Government of India has declared the UIDAI’s Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) facilities, Information assets, logistics infrastructure and dependencies installed at UIDAI locations to be critically Protected System”, he added.
He cautioned people to be aware against all such unscrupulous entities that are alluring to provide unauthorized Aadhaar related services and asked them to remain vigilant for the protection of their privacy.
“www.uidai.gov.in is the only authorized website of UIDAI. Any other website with Aadhaar in its name and providing Aadhaar related services is not authorized by us and hence, illegal. We are taking stern action against all such illegal sites and aiding such websites/agencies or persons in any manner may amount to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code and, also, under Section 8 and Chapter VII of the Aadhaar Act along with relevant sections of IT Act”, said Dr. Pandey.
UIDAI suggests that in case a person loses his Aadhaar card, he can download his Aadhaar card free of cost from the UIDAI’s official website. The print out of the downloaded Aadhaar is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter. For Aadhaar related services, people should visit either UIDAI’s website or authorized Common Service Centers or Aadhaar Permanent Enrolment Centers only.