As the debate in the Supreme Court on whether the ‘right to privacy’ is a fundamental right intensifies, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in an innovative move announced the launch of its mAadhaar app for Android users on Wednesday.
This app lets you carry all your Aadhaar card information on your smartphone, which will have all the demographic details available for you.
Here’s all you need to know about the app:
What does the app do?
The mAadhaar app will provide an interface to Aadhaar card holders to carry their demographic information, i.e. their name, date of birth, gender and address along with photograph as linked with their Aadhaar number on their smartphones.
What about security?
The mAadhaar app allows biometric locking or unlocking to secure biometric authentication by locking biometrics data. Once the user enables the Biometric Locking system, their biometrics will remain locked, till the Aadhaar holder chooses to either unlock it (which is temporary) or disable the locking system.
Other important features:
- mAadhaar has a ‘Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP)’ feature that can be used instead of the SMS (short messaging service)-based OTP (one-time password).
- The user can update his/her profile and view and share the updated Aadhaar profile via QR (Quick Response) code – the two-dimensional barcode.
- The app enables sharing of QR code and eKYC (electronic Know Your Customer) data by the Aadhaar number holder with service providers such as telecommunications companies.
- This will save the effort of manually entering details to retrieve accurate demographic information.
- Also, the app doesn’t allow users to enter the OTP manually. So, the app will function when they use the same sim card, registered with UIDAI.
The app is expected to make the process of verification of identity proof quick and easy for Aadhaar card holders.
With the government’s move to link Aadhaar with most services, there have been growing concerns amid the general public and stakeholders from the legal and tech fraternity. The UIDAI has maintained that these concerns are unfounded and Aadhaar is “fully safe and secure”, reported Business Today.
The app is currently available on Google Play for Android users only. The user can access the app using the mobile number registered with their Aadhaar card. The app is available on smartphones that use Android 5.0 operating system and upper versions.
While most features on the app are functional, users on Play Store have raised concerns about its tendency to hang and throw up errors. A few of them complained about manually keying in OTP and QR scanning functions not working smoothly.
The UIDAI in reply to these complaints put up a disclaimer. It mentioned that the app is currently in beta mode, exposing it to bugs and other technical issues. And some of these services will only be applicable after subsequent updates.
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