The Supreme Court of India in its latest ruling said that it is no longer mandatory to link Aadhaar with your bank accounts nor do the telecom service providers can ask for Aadhaar details. But this does not lessen the importance of Aadhaar.
The court in the same ruling also upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. The document remains mandatory when filing for IT returns or to avail benefits of any government welfare scheme. The relevance of Aadhaar is growing rapidly and this has also instilled fear in many about the Aadhaar data misuse.
In fact there were even reports this year that India’s ID database was hit by a security lapse that apparently compromised the Aadhaar data of over 11 million Aadhaar card holders in India. However, UIDAI- the authority that issues Aadhaar card, said that the biometric data of Aadhaar card holders is safe and intact.
Aadhaar data includes two kinds of details- demographic and biometric. The biometric data is the iris, finger prints and facial photograph of you while demographic information has your name, address, gender, age, contact number, email address.
UIDAI allows you to protect the privacy and confidentiality of your biometric details by locking and temporarily unlocking the biometrics. The biometric here refers to fingerprint and iris data that are used for authentication.
Locked Biometrics ensure the Aadhaar holder will not be able to use their biometrics for authentications thus preventing potential misuse. Also, your biometric details once locked will automatically get unlocked after 10 minutes . UIDAI recommends to update biometric data on every 10 years. Also UIDAI may verify the quality of biometric captured during enrolment and decide a threshold. Those whose biometrics are below the decided threshold level may be notified by UIDAI to update of biometrics.
Locked biometric does not mean that you cannot avail benefits attached to your Aadhaar number. When you lock your biometric, only the authentication gets blocked. Basically, nobody can use your biometric data for authentication then.
To lock/unlock your Aadhaar biometric data, follow these simple steps:
— Go to this link- https://resident.uidai.gov.in/biometric-lock
— Login using your 12 digit Aadhaar number or 16 digit VID to reach the Biometric Lock system.
— Enter captcha/security code
— Receive the OTP on your registered phone number. Registered mobile number is mandatory to avail this service. In case your mobile number is not registered with Aadhaar, you should visit the nearest Enrolment Centre/Mobile Update End Point to get it updated.