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UIDAI asks telecom firms to submit action plan on delinking Aadhaar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 01, 2018

Constitutional validity of Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme. File Photo   -  The Hindu

The authentication services will be terminated if no reply is received within 15 days

After the Supreme Court’s order stating that Aadhaar is not required for certain services such as acquiring and verifying mobile connections, the UIDAI has asked telcos to submit an action plan for closure of use of Aadhaar-based authentication, in the next 15 days.

In a letter seen by BusinessLine, the UIDAI has written to the chief executives of telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, BSNL and MTNL, with a copy to the Telecom Secretary, Aruna Sundararajan, seeking details.

“All telecom service providers (TSPs) are called upon to immediately take action in order to comply with the judgement dated September 26 (of the Supreme Court). In this regard, TSPs are directed to submit by October 15, an action plan/exit plan to the Authority for closure of use of Aadhaar-based authentication systems which shall include without limitation, the aspects enumerated under regulations 23 (2) of the Aadhaar (Authentication) Regulation, 2016,” the Authority wrote.

Fresh KYC

If the Authority does not receive any communication to this effect within the stipulated time-line, the authentication services will be terminated without any further notice, it said.

The Authority has also said that all TSPs should take immediate action to de-link Aadhaar from mobile number, as and when such requests are received from its subscribers; the service providers can take appropriate action to obtain fresh KYC, as per the Department of Telecom approved list of proof of identity and proof of address.

De-linking facility

“All TSPs shall immediately notify their customers the facility of de-linking their Aadhaar number and UID token from their database and establish a system to accept and process such requests for de-linking. The process of de-linking should form the part of exit plan,” it added.

This would mean that the industry will have to revert to alternatives like legacy paper-based technique (collect physical paper forms with signature, photographs, ship to verification centre and call up the customer to cross-verify submitted details). The process is expected to take 24-36 hours.

The Supreme Court, last week, had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed private companies to use the 12-digit biometric ID-based eKYC. Following this, private companies, including telecom operators, will not be able to use this instantaneous and inexpensive Aadhaar eKYC route.

Published on October 01, 2018

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