New Delhi: The government has instructed telecom operators to tweak their systems and networks to enable use of Virtual IDs in lieu of Aadhaar number and migrate to the 'limited KYC' mechanism for mobile subscribers.
The latest move is in line with the ensuing implementation of the new Virtual ID system from July 1, which users can quote instead of their Aadhaar number.
The Virtual ID system — a random 16-digit number mapped to a person's Aadhaar number — is scheduled to be fully operational from next month. It aims to strengthen the privacy and security of Aadhaar data amid heightened concerns around the collection and storage of personal and demographic information of individuals.
"...all licencees shall implement the ....changes proposed by the Unique Identification Authority of India regarding use of Virtual ID as an alternative of Aadhaar number, UID tokens and limited Know your customer concept in their system/networks subject to the adherence of existing Aadhaar based eKYC processes for issuing new mobile connection to subscribers and re-verification of existing mobile subscribers," a notification by the Department of Telecom (DoT) has said.
It further said that licencees should "give the option to subscribers of feeding either Aadhaar number or Virtual ID" as per the individual's choice but the operators will be required to display the numbers in "masked form" at the point of sale terminal and ensure that none of these numbers are stored in their own system or database.
"The licencee (operator) shall then follow the eKYC process as per the existing instructions for new acquisition or re-verification....and after successful authentication of the subscribers, shall use a UID (Unique ID) token to ascertain the uniqueness of the subscribers and store the same alongwith other fields in the subscribers' database," it said.
The telcos will also be required to make necessary changes in their systems to replace the Aadhaar numbers of existing subscribers within the database with UID tokens.
Further, it has removed Aadhaar number from various parametres required to be included in the subscriber database, and introduced the 72-character Unique ID token as a line item.