Short Bytes: In a shocking development, the Aadhaar details of 1.4 million Indian citizens have leaked. This incident took place due to some programming error in a website run by the Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security. The Section 29 (4) of the Aadhaar Act prohibits making the details of citizens public. The website was later blocked to prevent the leak.While the Indian government is trying hard push its Digital India initiative via its new policies, it’s finding it difficult to maintain top-notch security practices. Last month, we told you about an Indian bank’s loss of 25 crores (~ $4 million) due to a flaw in UPI system. Now, an incident in Jharkhand has raised doubts regarding Aadhaar.
For those who don’t know, Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Indian government to Indian citizens. Due to a programming error in the website maintained by the Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security, Aadhaar data of more than 1.4 million citizens has leaked.
The leaked details include names, Aadhaar numbers, addresses, and bank account details of the beneficiaries of the Jharkhand’s old-age pension scheme.
The state has 1.6 million pensioners; out of the total, 1.4 million seeded their Aadhaar cards for direct transfer of pensions into their accounts.
“We got a call from the UID cell telling us that the Aadhaar numbers of pension beneficiaries were being displayed on the website. We are aware of the seriousness (of the matter) and we will try to find out how and from where this mistake happened,” Director Social Security, Ram Parvesh, said, according to Indian Express.
While it’s unclear since when the details were made public, the website has now blocked the access to the data.
It should be noted that Section (29) of the Aadhaar Act prohibits the publication of any individual’s Aadhaar details. However, such violations have already happened in the past. A few months ago, famous India cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s details were leaked on social media.
Many activists and security experts have repeatedly questioned the security measures being taken to ensure the privacy of Indian citizens. The Supreme Court of India has also expressed concerns and asked the central government not to make Aadhaar mandatory to avail the benefits of government schemes.
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