Last month, the honourable Supreme Court of India in its judgement on Aadhaar ruled that the private companies cannot use the 12 digit identification number for authentication purposes. In the last few days, rumours and even some news reports have suggested that over 50 crore Indian mobile subscribers who used Aadhaar for KYC could face disconnection of services. These reports further speculated that the majority of users who face “deactivation” are JIO subscribers as they only used the biometric verification process.
However, on Thursday, October 18, the department of telecommunications (DoT) and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued a joint statement where they clarified that “the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgement in Aadhaar case has nowhere directed that the mobile number which has been issued through Aadhaar eKYC has to be disconnected.”
They further said that the telecom companies are required to keep authentication logs in order to address consumer grievances while as per the SC judgement, UIDAI has been restricted to not keep the same for more than six months.
In their joint statement, they stated, “there is absolutely no reason for panic or fear at all.” They added that the SC has only prohibited issuance of new SIM cards based on Aadhaar eKYC process due to “lack of a law.”
Also, if people voluntarily want to replace their Aadhaar eKYC, they can request their service provider for the delinking and submit new documents for verification purposes but in any case, they don’t face the risk of deactivation of mobile service.
The joint statement also outlined a “completely hassle-free and digital” process for SIM card authentication. According to the proposed process, the photo of ID (voter ID, Aadhaar etc.) will be captured along with a “live photograph of the person with latitude, longitude and timestamp.” Following this, the SIM card will be authenticated via OTP and it will be issued.
Also Read: Aadhaar Not Needed For Opening Bank Accounts, SIM But Mandatory For PAN Card: SC Verdict