UIDAI denies any breach of Aadhaar database

A clipping of how the DSDV search facility works. Credit UIDAI

In a rebuttal to the UIDAI's accusation, The Tribune had stood by its report, and said the Aadhaar authority, in its response, had in fact admitted to the "misuse" of biometric data.

To register its protest against the action of UIDAI, the Chandigarh Press Club has also chose to hold a meeting at its premises in Sector 27 at noon on January 8.

The Tribune, in a news report, had said reporter Rachna Khaira was able to access any Aadhaar number and "instantly get all particulars that an individual may have submitted to the UIDAI" by paying just Rs 500 through PayTm.

UIDAI had defended the system's security protocols and rejected the report about the ease with which the system can be infiltrated and demographic data accessed.

The UIDAI mentioned in its statement that the FIR was not launched for exposing the breach, but for unauthorised access. "It is unfair, unjustified and a direct attack on the freedom of the press", the guild said.

It added that rather than addressing the loopholes which would actually ensure safety and security of the data and allay the general concerns about this, the UIDAI has chosen to persecute those whose actions appear to have been only in public interest. Reacting to the registration of the FIR, the reporter, Rachna Khaira said it was a case of shooting the messenger.

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He said that The Tribune shall explore all legal options "open to us to defend our freedom to undertake serious investigative journalism".

The UIDAI's media unit did not respond to calls and texts from The Sunday Express.

The UIDAI has responded to the allegations of unfairness against the FIR and has issued issued a statement saying that it "respects free speech including the freedom of press and media".

The police was informed by the UIDAI official that the correspondent of "The Tribune", posing as a buyer, had purchased the details. The UIDAI move has attracted widespread criticism from press bodies, Editors' Guild and journalists from across the country who have demanded a withdrawal of cases against the newspaper and its reporter. "Whether one is guilty or not will be decided after police investigations and trial", the statement added. It also holds that the said Tribune report of Billion Aadhaar details on sale for Rs. 500 is clearly a case of misreporting being incorrect and misleading.

Mumbai: Unique Identification Data Authority of India (UIDAI) on Sunday released a statement clarifying its stand on lodging an FIR on The Tribune reporter Rachana Khair earlier in the day.

India's controversial national ID database Aadhaar, that contains key personal information of almost 1.2 billion people, was reportedly breached.

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