India

Aadhaar data has been leaked, admits government

The Modi government for the first time has formally acknowledged that the personal identity of individuals, including Aadhaar number and other sensitive information, has been leaked. In a letter written by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology confirms the data breach as per a report in the New Indian Express.

“There have been instances wherein personal identity or information of residents, including Aadhaar number and demographic information and other sensitive personal data such as bank account details etc. collected by various Ministries/Departments… has been reportedly published online and is accessible through an easy online search,” Archana Dureja, a scientist in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, wrote on March 25.

“Publishing information like Aadhaar number along with name, date of birth, address etc. is a clear contravention of provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years,” the letter said.

“The offending parties are liable to pay damages in the form of compensation to persons affected.”

The official in a letter also directed ministries and states to end any such content immediately. Incidentally, the same ministry in a statement on March 5 assured that personal data of people held by UIDAI is fully secured.

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