The Hush Post: There has been a major backlash on Twitter after TRAI chairman R S Sharma threw an open challenge to prove how secure the Aadhar system is. Sharma had asked if anybody could show a “concrete example where you can do any harm to me” through his 12-digit Aadhar number.
With several users claiming that they were able to obtain his personal details, such as his PAN and mobile number using the Aadhaar number, Sharma continued to defend his claims regarding the privacy and security of the UIDAI run Aadhar card system. A Twitter user, a French security expert by the pseudonym Elliot Alderson, has claimed he revealed Sharma’s personal data on his twitter account ‘@foc131y’. He also tagged Prime Minister and asked for his Aadhar card number. The Aadhar number issuing agency UIDAI has refuted Alderson’s claims saying that all the data he revealed was already available in public domain.
“People managed to get your personal address, dob (date of birth) and your alternate phone number. I stop here, I hope you will understand why make your #Aadhaar number public is not a good idea,” Alderson wrote.
Sharma responded , “Looks like you are not as good as you claim to be. All my bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar. Further, even if you know my bank account number, so what!”
“No I did not challenge them for phone number and other info. I challenged them for causing me harm! So far no success. Wish them luck,” Sharma wrote on Twitter, responding to info people gave about him with the help of his Aadhar number.
“Data privacy is a big and very important issue in a digital world. I am one of the most vociferous supporter of that,” Sharma wrote in another tweet. “However, the only thing I am saying is that Aadhaar does not violate privacy,” he wrote.
The challenge by Sharma has got over 2,850 retweets, and 3,364 likes, and the numbers continued to continue.
Multiple other personal details, such as frequent flyer number and alternate email IDs were also allegedly leaked through tweets based on the Aadhaar number provided by Sharma. But he refused to be convinced that this implies a failure in the security of the Aadhaar database.
A known defender of Aadhaar, Sharma has been maintaining that the unique ID does not violate privacy and the government reserved a right to create such a database of residents since it gives subsidies on state-run welfare schemes.
Privacy concerns have been raised by people who fear that the 12-digit biometric number could impinge citizen’s privacy. He said there had not been a single instance of data being breached and had there been one, the entire Aadhaar database would have been vulnerable.