UIDAI allows Airtel to continue Aadhaar-based eKYC verification for now, say sources

Airtel and Airtel Payment Bank are found be violating a section of the Aadhaar Act 2016, which mandates explicit consent of the individuals. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 21, 2017, 01.16 PM (IST)

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Thursday allowed telecom major Bharti Airtel to continue with its Aadhaar-based eKYC verification for its subscribers till January 10, sources said. The relief has been given with certain riders, sources added.

The UIDAI has, however, refused to give any relief to 'suspension' order on Airtel Payments Bank, sources said. This means customers also won't be able open their new account in Airtel Payment Bank.

The UIDAI has, earlier this month, temporarily banned Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Banks from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification of mobile customers using eKYC (Electronic Know Your Customer) process.

The action was taken after the allegations that Bharti Airtel is using the Aadhaar-eKYC based SIM verification process to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their "informed consent."

The UIDAI also took strong objection to the allegations that such payment bank accounts are being linked to receive LPG subsidy.

Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank are found be violating a section of the Aadhaar Act 2016, which mandates explicit consent of the individuals.

Airtel has been opening Airtel Payments Bank Account, without the consent of the user, as they link the SIMs to the Aadhaar card.

According to reports, more than 23 Lakh customers have their Airtel Payments Bank Account without any prior awareness.

UIDAI observed that as per agreement with the authority, Airtel and Airtel bank are under obligation to ensure security and privacy of a resident's identity information.

(With PTI inputs)