Privacy Current Affairs

UIDAI introduces 2-tier security to Aadhaar to address privacy concerns

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced two-tier security feature viz. Virtual ID and Limited KYC to address privacy concerns.

The move aims to strengthen security and privacy of Aadhaar data. It will also reduce the collection of Aadhaar numbers by various agencies.

Virtual ID

The Virtual ID will be random 16-digit number that can be generated from UIDA’s website and give for various purposes, wherever Aadhaar number is necessary to provide. It will be linked with biometrics of user that will give any authorised agency limited access of details like name, address and photograph.

Using it, Aadhaar-card holders do not need to share their actual 12-digit biometric ID for any authentication. User can generate as many Virtual IDs as they want. The older ID will get automatically cancelled at time new one is generated. It will be obligatory for all agencies that undertake authentication to accept Virtual ID from their users.

Limited KYC

It was introduced to address issue of storage of Aadhaar number within various databases. It will only provide need-based or limited details of user to authorised agency that is providing particular service. It will evaluate Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) and split them into two categories: Global AUAs and Local AUAs.

Global AUAs will have access to full demographic details of an individual along with the ability to store Aadhaar numbers within their system.

Remaining AUAs will be branded as Local AUAs and will neither get access to full KYC, nor can they can store Aadhaar number on their systems. Instead, they will get tokenised number (UID Token) issued by UIDAI to identify their customers. It will be 72 character alphanumeric.

Aadhaar

Aadhaar is 12 digit unique-identity number issued by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. It is the world’s largest biometric ID system, with over 1.19 billion enrolled members as of November 2017. The biometric and demographic data is collected by UIDAI, a statutory authority under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin gives assent to Big Brother law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his assent to the legislation consisting of a package of controversial anti-terror amendments.

The legislation is dubbed as Big Brother law was adopted by the lower and upper houses of Russian parliament in June 2016.

The nick-name Big Brother law was coined by Edward Snowden, US intelligence contractor turned privacy activist. He has condemned the law despite being given asylum in Russia.

Key provisions of law

  • Boosts the surveillance powers for the security services and grants them access to any user’s messages without any judicial oversight.
  • Mandatory for communication (network) service providers to store users’ calls, messages, photographs and videos for six months and the metadata for up to three years.
  • Federal Security Service (FSB) should be provided with the stored data. Companies and service providers must provide it necessary encryption mechanisms to access files.
  • Tougher sentences for extremism and criminalises several offences. For certain crimes the age of criminal responsibility reduced to 14.

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