Ministry Withdraws UIDAI Press Release On Sharing Masked Aadhaar

New Delhi: The ministry of electronics and information technology on Sunday has withdrawn its recent advisory that warned citizens not to share photocopies of their Aadhaar cards with immediate effect saying that it was being done amid the possibility of its misinterpretation. In a press statement, the government said, “UIDAI issued Aadhaar card holders are only advised to exercise normal prudence in using and sharing their UIDAI Aadhaar numbers.”

“Aadhaar Identity Authentication ecosystem has provided adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder,” it added.

“This is in pursuant of the Press Release dated 27 May 2022 by the Bengaluru Regional Office, UIDAI,” the Ministry of Electronics & IT said today.

“It is learnt that it was issued by them in the context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card. The release advised the people to not to share photocopy of their Aadhaar with any organization because it can be misused. Alternatively, a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last 4 digits of Aadhaar number, can be used,” the statement read.

It added, “In view of the possibility of the misinterpretation of the Press Release, the same stands withdrawn with immediate effect.”

Earlier, the ministry has warned the citizens to not share the copy of their Aadhaar Card with others as it can be misused. It also urged the people to use a masked Aadhaar which provides protection against misuse of data by hiding the first few digits of the Aadhaar number.

According to the website of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the “Mask Aadhaar option allows you to mask your Aadhaar number in your downloaded e-Aadhaar. Masked Aadhaar number implies replacing of first 8 digits of the Aadhaar number with some characters like “xxxx-xxxx” while only last 4 digits of the Aadhaar Number are visible.”