UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) has started removing the fraudulent apps and websites that offer Aadhaar-based services by charging users illegally. Reportedly, UIDAI has shut down a 12 mobile apps on Google Play Store and 12 websites. Furthermore, 26 more apps as well as illegal websites have been directed to shut down.
It is alleged that these apps and websites are charging high fees for services that are actually free. Some of the services that they charge for include downloading the Aadhaar card or the status of Aadhaar card generation.
These services were illegally getting the Aadhaar card number as well as enrolment details of the public, claimed UIDAI. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the CEO of UIDAI stated that the organization hasn't authorized the owners of these apps or websites to extend the services related to Aadhaar on its behalf. He further cautioned the public to be aware of these illegal entities that are luring them claiming to provide Aadhaar-based services. He asked them to stay vigilant to protect their data.
The Aadhaar Card details of a person include personal information such as age, residence, contact, etc. The registration process also involves biometric authentication of the person. UIDAI says that any information related to the Aadhaar card can be shared following the biometric authentication, as per the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and that the violation of the same is punishable.
UIDAI has also issued a notice warning the unauthorized mobile apps and websites those are using the Aadhaar logo illegally in order to add authenticity among people. Notably, this isn't the very first time that such a scam has been highlighted in public knowledge. As the Aadhaar card details are linked to the LPG cylinders, passports, banks, and mobile wallets, this situation is quite alarming.