Aadhaar Current Affairs

Use of AADHAAR biometric data for criminal investigation is not permissible: UIDAI

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has notified that use of Aadhaar biometric data for criminal investigation is not allowed under Aadhaar Act, 2016. This comes after National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Director Ish Kumar made strong pitch for police to be provided with limited access to Aadhaar data to aide them in catching first-time offenders and for identification of unidentified bodies.

UIDAI’s Notification

As per Section 29 of the Aadhaar Act, the biometrics data collected by UIDAI can be used only for purpose of generating Aadhaar and for authentication of identity of Aadhaar holders and cannot be used for any other purpose. The very limited exception to this is allowed under Section 33 of Aadhaar Act, which permits use of or access to Aadhaar biometric data in cases involving national security only after pre-authorisation by oversight committee headed by Cabinet Secretary. This is also consistent stand taken by Union Government in ongoing Aadhaar case in the Supreme Court. Based on this legal stance, UIDAI has never shared any biometric data with any crime investigating agency.

Background

The NCRB Director at the 19th All India Conference of Directors of Finger Prints Bureau in Hyderabad had said that limited access to Aadhaar data was needed to be given to police for purpose of catching first time offenders and for identification of unidentified bodies. At present around 50 lakh cases were registered every year in the country and most of them (80 to 85%) are committed by first time offenders who leave their fingerprints, which are available in police records. So there is need for access to Aadhaar data to police for purpose of investigation.

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UIDAI launches Updated QR code for offline Aadhaar verification

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced updated ‘QR code’ for offline Aadhaar verification to strengthen its privacy measures during usage. The updated ‘QR code’ is aimed at adding an extra layer of privacy to Aadhaar after UIDAI introduced the concept of virtual identification.

Key Facts

The updated ‘QR code’ will only reveal non-sensitive details such as name, address, photo, and date of birth. It can be used for offline user verification without disclosing 12-digit aadhar identification number. The new QR code comes with photo and can be used in offline mode to safeguard against any tampering of documents.

aadhaar card holders can download and print their biometric ID with QR code from UIDAI website or its mobile app. Users also can manually blacken aadhaar number and use printout with new QR code for establishing their identity, offline too. The printed QR code when scanned will only read non-sensitive information without revealing 12-digit aadhar identification number.

QR code

QR code (Quick Response code) is two-dimensional (matrix) machine-readable bar code made up of black and white square. This code can be read by the camera of a smartphone. It is used for storing URLs or other information that link directly to text, emails websites phone numbers. It is capable of 360 degrees (omni-directional), high speed reading.

QR Code can store up to 7089 digits as compared to conventional bar codes which can store max 20 digits. It encodes same amount of data in one-tenth the space of a traditional bar code. It carries information both horizontally and vertically. It has error correction capability and data stored in it can be restored even if it is partially damaged or dirty.

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