The ongoing strife between the TRAI chief, R S Sharma, and the Aadhar critics on social media has forced the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to intervene and declare that none of the information pertaining to Sharma was fetched from Aadhaar database or the UIDAI’s servers.
The UIDAI on Sunday dismissed claims of certain ‘hackers’ on social media, who alleged that they accessed personal details of the TRAI chief by using his Aadhaar credentials. The organization issued a clarification that the ‘so-called hacked’ personal details of Sharma, was already available in public domain as he has been a public servant for decades and that people should not believe such fraudulent elements active on social media.
In a statement released by UIDAI, they specified that “Sharma’s mobile number is available on National Informatics Centre’s (NIC) website as he was once Secretary IT. His date of birth is available in the Civil List of IAS Officers which is kept in public domain and his address is on Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) website because he is the Chairman. They clubbed all these inputs and claimed to have breached the Aadhaar database.
Aadhaar database is fully safe and secure and no such information about Mr Sharma has been fetched from UIDAI’s servers or Aadhaar database.” It further read: “It is strictly not the issue about Aadhaar. It is a challenge of emerging digital world and personal data protection which have been sought to be addressed in the recommendations submitted by the Justice Srikrishna Committee.”
Recently the TRAI chairman had thrown an open challenge to all the Aadhar defamers, by sharing his 12 digit Aadhar number on Twitter and challenging them to try and harm him in any way using his Aadhar details.
A French security ‘expert’, who goes by the nickname Elliot Anderson, made Sharma’s personal information public on Twitter. Soon, people grabbed this opportunity and started sharing Sharma’s personal details like his PAN and alternative phone number on the public domain.
When contacted by TNIE, Sharma said, “Let the challenge run for some time”. On the revelation of Sharma’s PAN by the French hacker, which critics believes is the tie-breaker to support their argument, UIDAI reiterated that people usually give PAN or mobile number at many places.
As reported by Aaj Tak, an individual used R S Sharma’s Aadhar number deposited one rupee in his bank account to justify that the Aadhar number can be misused, but that justification becomes laughable since depositing money can’t be considered a marker of ‘hacking’, but perhaps withdrawing money could.
People on Twitter, however, did not leave this opportunity and were prompt to call out at this farcical act, which was executed to downplay the Aadhar legitimacy.