How to Protect Your Aadhaar and Biometric Data
People are very much concerned about their privacy online, especially while dealing with biometric authentication or eKYC through Aadhaar authentication. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with the intention of providing more security for the Aadhar data and making the Aadhaar service more convenient has released a mobile-based Aadhaar facility called mAadhaar. This facility has been made available in the form of a free mobile application that can be installed both on Android phones and iPhones. The App includes a number of Aadhaar services and a personalized section for the Aadhaar holder who can carry their Aadhaar information in form of a soft copy, instead of carrying a physical copy all the time.
The mAadhaar app can be used anywhere anytime within India. mAadhaar is more than an Aadhaar card in a wallet. On one hand, the mAadhaar profile is accepted as valid ID proof by Airports and Railways on the other resident can use the features in the app to share their eKYC or QR code with service providers who sought Aadhaar verification of their customers before providing Aadhaar services.
Anyone in India with a smartphone can install and use the mAadhaar App. Without an Aadhaar registered mobile number residents will be able to avail themselves of only a few of the services such as Locate Enrolment Center, Verify Aadhaar, Scanning QR code etc. However, a registered mobile number is mandatory to avail of all other Aadhaar services and Aadhaar Profile services listed under My Aadhaar. Resident can register their profile in an App installed on any smartphone. However, the OTP will be sent to only their registered mobile.
The key features in mAadhaar:
- Aadhaar Locking – Aadhaar holder can lock their UID/Aadhaar number anytime they wish.
- Biometric locking/unlocking: It secures biometric authentication by locking biometrics data. Once the resident enables the Biometric Locking system their biometric remains locked till the Aadhaar Holder chose to either Unlock it (which is temporary) or Disable the Locking system.
- TOTP generation – Time-based One-Time Password is an automatically generated temporary password that can be used instead of SMS-based OTP.
- Multilingual: In order to ensure the Aadhaar Services are accessible to linguistically diverse residents of India, the menu, button labels, and form fields are provided in English as well as in 12 Indian languages. However, the input fields in the forms will accept data entered in the English language only.
- Universality: Residents with or without Aadhaar can install this App on their smartphones. However to avail of personalized Aadhaar services the resident will have to register their Aadhaar Profile in the App.
- Aadhaar Online Services on Mobile: The mAadhaar user can avail of the featured services for themselves as well as for any other resident seeking Aadhaar or related help. The functionalities are broadly grouped as :
- Main Service Dashboard: Direct access to download Aadhaar, Order a Reprint, Address Update, Download offline eKYC, Show or Scan QR Code, Verify Aadhaar, Verify mail/email, retrieve UID/EID, Request for Address Validation Letter
- Request Status Services: To help residents check the status of various online requests
- My Aadhaar: This is a personalized section for Aadhaar holders where the resident will not have to enter their Aadhaar number to avail of Aadhaar services. In addition, this section also provides facilities for the resident to lock/unlock their Aadhaar or Biometric Authentication.
- Update of profile – To update the view of Aadhaar profile data after successful completion of the update request.
- Sharing of QR code and eKYC data by Aadhaar Number holder helps Aadhaar users share their password-protected eKYC or QR code for safe and paperless verification.
- Multi-profile: Aadhaar holders can include multiple (up to 3) profiles (with the same registered mobile number) in their profile section.
- Aadhaar Services on SMS ensures Aadhaar holders avail of Aadhaar services even when there is no network. This needs SMS permission.
- Locating the Enrollment Center helps the user find the nearest Enrolment Center.