New security layer in Aadhaar is like locking the stable after horses have bolted: P Chidambaram

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 11, 2018, 03.33 AM (IST)

Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday launched a scathing attack on the government's proposal to add a fresh layer of security -- a 'Virtual ID' to prevent your Aadhaar from being shared -- as it sought to address privacy and security concerns. 

The new security layer is like ''locking the stable after horses have bolted'', he said.

''Under compulsion, millions of persons have already shared Aadhaar number with many service providers. The new security layer is like locking the stable after horses have bolted,'' Chidambaram tweeted on Thursday morning.

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Reports said UIDAI's Virtual ID, which will be issued from March, will allow over 119 crore Aadhaar holders to generate a 16-digit temporary number that can be shared with a bank, insurance company or telecom service provider instead of the 12-digit Aadhaar number. All service providers will have to upgrade their systems to mandatorily allow for the new tool from June. You can opt to use the Virtual ID as many times as you want, or keep generating a new one every time you have to share your unique ID.

Former finance minister's latest salvo on the BJP led NDA government comes after the government introduced a fresh layer of security following privacy concerns raised by a report in The Tribune. The government filed an FIR against The Tribune and its reporter Rachna Khaira for her report on an alleged breach in the Aadhaar database which can be accessed for a fee.

American whistleblower Edward Snowden recently targeted the Indian government for filing an FIR against The Tribune and its reporter. 

“The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the government were truly concerned for justice, they would be reforming the policies that destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians. Want to arrest those responsible? They are called @UIDAI,” Snowden tweeted.