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Aadhaar number or Unique Identity Number (UID) is to be linked with a series of financial products, services and government schemes by March 31, 2018. These range from bank accounts to mobile SIMs to mutual fund investments and small savings schemes such as PPF (Public Provident Fund). The UIDAI or Unique Identification Authority of India has come out with a communication dated January 14, 2018, in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Here are some of the FAQs about Aadhaar which card holders need to know:
1. The UIDAI has all my data including biometrics, bank account, PAN etc. Will it be used to track my activities?
Absolutely false. UIDAI database has only the following information –
(a) Your name, address, DOB, gender, date of birth
(b) Ten finger prints, two IRIS scans, facial photograph
(c) Mobile number and email ID
Rest assured, UIDAI does not have your information about family, caste, religion, education, bank accounts, shares, mutual funds, financial and property details, health records etc and will never have these information in its database.
In fact, Section 32(3) of the Aadhaar Act 2016 specifically prohibits UIDAI from controlling, collecting, keeping or maintaining any information about the purpose of authentication either by itself or through any entity.
2. When I link my bank accounts, shares, mutual funds and mobile phones with Aadhaar, will the UIDAI not get this information?
Absolutely not. When you give Aadhaar number to your banks, mutual fund companies, mobile phone companies, they only send Aadhaar number, your biometrics (given at the time authentication) and your name etc to UIDAI for verification for your identity. They do not send your bank account or its details to UIDAI.
So far as UIDAI is concerned, it responds to such verification requests by replying either 'Yes' or 'No'. In few cases, if the verification answer is 'Yes', your basic KYC details (name, address, photo etc.) available with UIDAI are sent to the service provider.
3. If someone gets to know my Aadhaar number, they can use it to hack my bank account.
Absolutely false. Just like by merely knowing your ATM card number, no one can withdraw money from the ATM machine, by knowing your Aadhaar number alone, no one can hack into your bank account and withdraw money. Your bank account is safe if you don't part with your PIN/OTP given by banks.
Rest assured, there has not been been a single case of financial loss due to Aadhaar.
Section 32(3) of the Aadhaar Act 2016 specifically prohibits UIDAI from controlling, collecting, keeping or maintaining any information about the purpose of authentication either by itself or through any entity, the Aadhaar-issuing body has said.
4. Why am I being asked to link all my bank accounts with Aadhaar?
For your own security, it is necessary to verify identity of all bank account holders and link them with Aadhaar to weed out the accounts being operated by fraudsters, money-launderers, criminals etc. When every bank account is verified and linked with Aadhaar and then If anyone fraudulently withdraws money from your account, through Aadhaar such fraudster can easily be located and punished.
Therefore, by linking your bank accounts with Aadhaar, your accounts becomes more secure and not the other way around.
5. Do NRIs need Aadhaar for banking, mobile, PAN and other services?
Aadhaar is only for residents of India. NRIs are not eligible to get Aadhaar. The respective service providers like banks and mobile companies have laid down NRI-specific exemptions. NRIs should simply tell the banks and other service providers such as credit card companies etc that they are not required to provide Aadhaar numbers by virtue of being non-resident Indians.