UIDAI clamps down on 50 fraud sites offering Aadhaar services
In a massive crackdown on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has got shut down 12 such websites and 12 mobile apps available on the Google Playstore.
The UIDAI has further directed authorities for closure of another 26 such fraudulent and illegal websites and mobile applications. "Some websites and mobile apps were luring citizens to share their basic information and Aadhaar number under the pretext of getting them Aadhaar card or offering other Aadhaar related services. We have taken strict action against them," UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told reporters. Emphasising that UIDAI has a zero tolerance to such unauthorised websites and mobile applications, he said, "We will continue to keep our vigil on such websites and mobile applications and if something comes to our notice, we will take swift action including shutting them down, or go for other stricter measures," he said, adding that the UIDAI has not authorised the owners of these mobile applications or websites to extend any Aadhaar-related services on its behalf.
At present, any Aadhaar-related demographic information can only be shared following the procedures laid down in the Aadhaar Act, 2016.
Any violation is punishable under Section 38 and Chapter VII of the Aadhaar Act that provides punishment for "whoever, not being authorised by the Authority, intentionally accesses or secures, downloads, copies or extracts any data from the Central Identities Data Repository or stored in any removable storage medium..."
In a statement, UIDAI said that these illegal websites and mobile applications (downloadable through Google Playstore) were providing unauthorised Aadhaar-related services such as downloading online Aadhaar card, providing status of Aadhaar generation, PVC (plastic) Aadhaar Card, to residents. In the process, these agencies were illegally obtaining the Aadhaar number and enrolment details from the residents.