UIDAI warns people not to share Aadhaar number

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has asked people not to share publicly their 12-digit identifier on the internet and social media, or pose such challenges to others.

Aadhaar, it said, is a unique identity which can be authenticated to prove one’s identity for various services, benefits and subsidies. “UIDAI in its regular media campaigns have been consistently making people aware not to display or publish or share their Aadhaar number in public domain,” the statement said.

The authority has warned that people “indulging in such acts or abetting or inciting others to do so” are liable for prosecution. "Such activities are uncalled for and should be refrained as these are not in accordance with the law," UIDAI said. The statement comes after TRAI chief shared his Aadhaar numbers publicly and challenged anyone to harm him using that.

UIDAI also asked people to refrain from doing Aadhaar authentication through somebody else's Aadhaar number.

UIDAI has advised people to refrain from making their 12-digit identifier public on the internet and on social media and posing challenges to others.

An all-out war has been raging on Twitter since Saturday after Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief R S Sharma shared his Aadhaar number publicly. While some claimed to have got access to his bank account number and email, Sharma refuted the claims saying they were untrue.

The authority said that the advisory was put out with reference to some news items appearing on social media about "few people publicly posting their Aadhaar numbers on the internet and social media and posing challenges to others.”

UIDAI said the 12 digit Aadhaar number “is personally sensitive information” just like bank account number, passport number, PAN number, which “should be strictly shared only on a need basis for a legitimate use for establishing identity and for legitimate transactions”.