India

Aadhaar data leak: Just Google 'Mera Aadhaar Meri Pehchan filetype:pdf'

16 Mar 2018 | By Bhavika Bhuwalka

In a rather worrisome revelation, it has been found that a simple Google search (Mera Aadhaar Meri Pehchan filetype:pdf) can lead people to access the Aadhaar card details of several individuals.

These details that can be publicly accessed by anyone on the internet include name, address, Aadhaar card number, parent's name, date of birth, and photograph.

Thankfully, the biometric details of individuals are not divulged.

In context: Anyone can access thousands of Aadhaar details online

16 Mar 2018Aadhaar data leak: Just Google 'Mera Aadhaar Meri Pehchan filetype:pdf'

Prepare to be shockedHere's how you can breach the privacy of complete strangers

Go to Google and type 'mera aadhaar meri pehchan filetype:pdf' on the search engine.

Multiple PDF files will show up as results. Click on any one of them and download the PDF.

And that's it. You will have the Aadhaar details of strangers saved on your desktop.

It is ironic that Aadhaar's tagline is a part of the search query that reveals personal data.

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The first result on typing the Google search query

The first search result that surfaces on Google is of StarCardsIndia.com, a Hyderabad-based company that provides services like payment gateway and mobile app development. The firm has unwittingly uploaded entire application forms of people who submitted them to obtain a permanent account number (PAN).
Official government websites have uploaded Aadhaar details online

Why?Official government websites have uploaded Aadhaar details online

The revelation also brings forth the fact that several websites have uploaded unsolicited Aadhaar details of individuals for no good reason.

These include the official website of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (www.incois.gov.in), the official website of the All India Football Federation (www.the-aiff.com), and even CancerCareTrust.org, which has uploaded Aadhaar details of several cancer patients including children.

This isn't the first time Aadhaar details are getting breached

Earlier this week, French security researcher Elliot Alderson hacked into the Aadhaar app. He was able to bypass the system's password protection protocol within a minute and gain access to 22,000 Aadhaar card details.