Want to secure Aadhaar? Here's how to lock/unlock its data
In a bid to enhance security of users' biometric data, and prevent potential misuse of sensitive personal information, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) launched a service, by which users can "lock/unlock" their biometrics. There are mainly three ways to lock or unlock your Aadhaar data. Here's all you need to know about it, and a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
The biometric data of a user comprises their fingerprints and iris scans. According to the UIDAI, the said (lock/unlock) facility protects privacy and confidentiality of residents' biometrics data. The facility, by allowing the temporary locking and unlocking of the biometric information, ensures that the Aadhaar holder cannot use their biometrics for authentication, thus preventing potential misuse of Aadhaar-registered information.
Firstly, log on to the UIDAI portal, click on 'Lock/Unlock Biometrics', under 'Aadhaar services' section. You'll be redirected to the biometrics locking section. Next, enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number/UID, and the security code provided on the screen. Subsequently, an OTP will be generated and sent via SMS to your Aadhaar-registered mobile number. Enter the OTP and enable/disable the biometric lock, as per your need.
To follow this method, you first need to install and log in to the UIDAI mAadhaar app. At the bottom of the screen, click on 'Biometrics Unlock' notification. Then, enter your mAadhaar password. Once authenticated, your biometrics will be locked, and you won't be able to do any transactions. Further, to unlock your biometrics, follow the procedure again.
You can also use the toggle button in mAadhaar app in order to lock/unlock your biometrics. For this, click on the three dots icon on the top-right corner of the mAadhaar app. Then switch on/off the 'Enable Biometrics Lock' toggle button, according to your requirements.
Post the September 26, 2018 Supreme Court verdict concerning authentication of Aadhaar, there has been much confusion with respect to services where Aadhaar is mandatory and where not. Aadhaar is no longer mandatory for services such as opening bank accounts, telecom services, and school admissions/entrance tests. However, it is still necessary for availing government welfare schemes, and filing I-T returns (if PAN isn't used).