On Thursday, 4 January, The Tribune published a report on how it was able to access the Aadhaar details for over 1 billion people for a measly sum of Rs 500. As the story was picked up by most other mainstream news outlets, both the BJP and UIDAI issued statements claiming that no breach had in fact taken place and that the report was entirely false.
The paper then issued a point-by-point rebuttal to the claims made by UIDAI.
‘No Aadhaar Breach, Only Misreporting’
The Tribune stuck to it’s report of a massive breach for just Rs 500, against the UIDAI’s assertion that no such breach occurred.
‘Any Misuse of Grievance Redressal Can be Traced’
With this claim, the publication states it’s an assertion that misuse has occurred. The personal details like name, email id, phone numbers, addresses and photos are accessible to the unauthorised persons for all Aadhaar numbers.
Stating that the data is trackable and those in the racket can be nabbed doesn’t change the fact that people have had access to the data for months, and when that happened, the authorities were clearly not notified.
Lodging of FIRs also show that something is amiss, The Tribune wrote.
‘No Access to Biometric Details’
This assertion makes it seem that access to a person’s identfication is of no consequence, as long as the biometrics weren’t taken.
This renders meaningless its claim of 20 November 2016, that “Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach at UIDAI.”The Tribune
The UIDAI had also asked 210 central and state governments to remove from public domain the private details of people which had been mistakenly displayed.
‘Aadhaar Not a Secret Number’
Revealing data to “authorised agencies” is safe but there are several people with unauthorised access, The Tribune said.
The Tribune correspondent was also able to enter biometric data of specific individuals who were available at hand – at an unauthorised location – to print out Aadhaar cards.The Tribune
‘Aadhaar Enrollment System Cannot be Bypassed’
If unauthorised people can log into government data and download it, how is that not “bypassing”?The Tribune