In a massive crackdown on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public, UIDAI has got shut down 12 websites and as many mobile apps available on the Google Playstore.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (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 PTI.
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.
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.
“UIDAI has not authorised the owners of these mobile applications or websites to extend any Aadhaar-related services on its behalf,” Pandey said in the statement.
Warning websites and mobile applications providers against illegal use of Aadhaar logo in violation of Aadhaar Act and the Copyright Act, he said the authority is contemplating stern action against them.
“As per Section 70 of the IT Act, the Government has declared the UIDAIs Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) facilities, Information assets, logistics infrastructure and dependencies installed at UIDAI locations to be critically protected system,” he added.
www.uidai.gov.inis the only authorised website of UIDAI, the statement said adding that for Aadhaar related services, people should visit either the official website or authorised Common Service Centres or Aadhaar Permanent Enrolment Centres.