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Operator’s phone number in several Aadhar cards, gets control of all data

Ranchi: Last year in March, Sakshi Dhoni, wife of former Team India, captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni had raised an alarm concerning the M S Dhoni’s confidential data listed in Aadhar being leaked. She had also complained regarding the same to Union Law and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. With the government giving an assurance that there would not be a repeat, it was believed that no Aadhar information would ever be leaked in Jharkhand.

But, within a year, this incident where a Common Service Center (CSC) operator, at Ganwah More, Ganwah block, Giridih has put his phone number in most of the Aadhar cards made through him, has exposed once again, as to how vulnerable the data listed in one’s Aadhar identity proof is.

The center used to operate from Ganwah Panchayat Building, has now been shutdown, with Aadhar now being made at banks. But till January 31, 2018 one Raju Kumar, had put one single phone number in every Aadhar card that was applied for through his centre. A little bit of investigation revealed that the number belongs to him. Several Aadhar cards and the enrollment slips have the same phone number—8969877638 listed in it.

Phone number listed in the Aadhar card has great significance as now one can only get rations, pensions and several other welfare scheme’s benefits authentification get done only after submitting OTP (One Time Password).

When eNewsroom contacted Raju on the number listed on the card, he received the call and explained that he had had his number listed as he wanted to help certain people who didn’t have any phone or mobile numbers to list. “If I would not have added my number, they would have not been able to get an Aadhar,” he told eNewsroom.

On being asked, if he was aware of the fact that his action of listing his own number was a punishable offence and that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) can book him, or that the card owner would be dependent on him for life, Raju had no answer. However, his modus operandi exposes the fact that Aadhar credentials can easily be manipulated or accessed by anyone.

When contacted Shambhu Singh, General Manager, Technology SCS eGovernance Services, he told eNewsroom, “The person (Raju Kumar) has been removed from CSC center in March itself for some other reason.”

“However, we had no idea about this issue, and now when UIDAI will instruct us, then only we can take action against him,” he added.

This year in January, The Tribune newspaper had done a story, which had shown how by paying just Rs 500 anybody can get access to millions of personal Aadhar data.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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