The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has given telecom companies 15 days to submit a plan to stop using Aadhaar number for the authentication of its customers. Service providers like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and others were sent the circular that said, “...all TSPs (telecom service providers) are called upon to immediately take actions in order to comply with the judgement dated 26.09.2018. In this regard, TSPs are hereby directed to submit by 15th October, 2018 an action plan/exit plan to the authority for closure of use of Aadhaar based authentication systems...”
This order comes days after the Supreme Court said that Aadhaar number is not mandatory for mobile phone connections.
Private companies cannot demand Aadhaar data linked to an individual’s face, fingerprints and iris scans for access to their services, the Supreme Court had said last week. This means telecom firms will have to resort to alternates like paper-based techniques (by collect physical paper forms with signature, photographs, ship to verification centre and call up the customer to cross-verify submitted details).
CEO of UIDAI Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “In order to ensure smooth discontinuation...there are certain requirements which are there under the Aadhaar regulations...so the companies are in the best position to know what exactly is needed and they can submit their plan by October 15. If any additional requirements are to be done from the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) side, we will tell them after receipt of their plan."
(With PTI inputs)