TRAI chairman dares Twitterati to show Aadhaar's misuse, challenge backfires
TRAI Chairman Ram Sewak Sharma got embroiled in a Twitter war over the efficiency of Aadhaar. Sharma posted his Aadhaar details publicly on Twitter Saturday and asked users to show him how it can be used to harm him. Twitter users including French hacker Robert Baptiste then found out and revealed Sharma's phone number, email address and PAN number, to prove a point.
My Aadhaar number is 7621 7768 2740— RS Sharma (@rssharma3) July 28, 2018
Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me!
No sooner had Sharma given out his details that Twitter users swung into action. Baptiste, whose Twitter name is Elliot Alderson, said it was stupid of Sharma to compromise his security. Sharma's date of birth, address and phone number were soon made public. Baptiste also posted Sharma's (public) WhatsApp display picture, though he didn't reveal faces of his family members. The tweets went viral.
Twitter user Nilesh Trivedi responded too, writing that even if no one knows anything about him but this 12-digit number, they can easily get access to his social media profiles. He said since the phone number is used for OTPs etc., banking details can be accessed too. "Your first auth factor, the password, is probably already compromised (check https://haveibeenpwned.com)," Trivedi tweeted.
(6) Make the demographic profile lockable - just like biometrics. No id/auth/e-KYC without my knowledge and consent - period.— Nilesh Trivedi (@nileshtrivedi) July 28, 2018
(7) Make it illegal for anyone to ask for UID. Use VID everywhere. In fact, the user himself shouldn't know his UID. Give revocable, admin-scoped tokens.
The entire episode of privacy divided Twitter users. While many thought privacy was a myth, there were others who backed up Sharma. User @DrGPradhan tweeted: "AADHAAR is safe as much as living in a house whose roof is not going to fall. All debate on AADHAAR is rubbish and done only by those who want to hide something."
chacha aap item ho 😂😂😂😭😭😭.. mail, phone, dob, address, pan, photo sab nikaal ke dikha diya, ab kya pehla pyar bhi batayen aapka https://t.co/CqBQwU8NPR— Rofl Gandhi (@RoflGandhi_) July 28, 2018
After accepting Sharma's challenge, Alderson asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to share his Aadhaar details (if he had any). This incident regarding former UIDAI Director General Sharma happened after Justice Srikrishna committee mooted changes in the Aadhaar Act. The committee also proposed new guidelines to ensure the safety of Aadhaar-holders. The Supreme Court has reserved its judgement on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.