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Aadhaar Virtual Id: A Concise Guide to Temporary Virtual Identity

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Aadhaar card is the most important document for Indian residents. We have read about it in the news, heard about it several times. The world’s largest biometric system of identification stores the data of the second largest population of the world.

Aadhaar Virtual ID Authorisation

The number of registration for Aadhaar is increasing every day. To further safeguard Aadhaar data of the residents, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced new security features to prevent any kind of data security concerns.
The UIDAI will launch ‘Virtual ID’ or VID for Aadhaar cardholders. To know all there is to know about Aadhaar Virtual ID, continue reading.

Virtual ID: The Definition

Aadhaar Virtual ID is a temporary 16-digit number. It can be randomly generated by the cardholder. For authentication or KYC, VID can be used instead of Aadhaar number. Only Aadhaar UID number holders can generate the VID.

Uses of Aadhaar Virtual ID

The VID can be used by cardholders for KYC processes at banks, telecom service outlets, and places where they need to authenticate their details. Virtual ID number can be used just like Aadhaar UID during authentication processes.

Validity of VID

The 16-digit Virtual ID number has been configured to be temporary. Like OTPs, the validity of VID is limited. Cardholders can generate a new VID every time the minimum validity period of the existing VID is over.

Virtual ID: Its Calculation and Formula

The last digit of the VID is based on an algorithm known as “Verhoeff”. It was conceived by Jacobus Verhoeff, a Dutch mathematician. The algorithm which is a checksum formula was developed for error detection.

Benefits of Verhoeff Algorithm

The Verhoeff algorithm is a complex calculation process. Thus making it impossible for any individual to calculate it manually. The Virtual ID, being based on such complex algorithm, cannot be used for data deduplication by fraudulent agencies.

Aadhaar VID: Verification and Safety

During authentication processes, VIDs will only confirm that the 16-digit number is linked to a particular Aadhaar UID. Organisations asking for Aadhaar verification will not be able to derive the actual Aadhaar number using the Virtual ID.

Even personal information other than name, address, and photo will not be revealed to the third-party. At the time of authentication, cardholders do not need to reveal their Aadhaar number. Also, no one but the Aadhaar cardholder will be able to generate his/her Virtual ID number.

Issuance of Virtual ID: When and How

From the end of March 2018, the UIDAI would start issuing Aadhaar Virtual IDs. People can generate, retrieve, and cancel their VIDs by visiting the official website of UIDAI. This temporary ID can also be generated from the mAadhaar mobile application or by visiting any nearest Aadhaar enrolment centre.

From 01 June 2018, it will no more be mandatory to share Aadhaar number during authentication. Any business asking for Aadhaar validation must accept the Virtual ID in place of the 12-digit Aadhaar UID number.

Features of Virtual ID

The new measure is taken to strengthen the safety of the data of millions of Aadhaar cardholders. The key features of Aadhaar Virtual ID are:

  • It is a 16-digit temporary number.
  • It will be mapped with the permanent Aadhaar number.
  • The VID is calculated based on “Verhoeff” algorithm.
  • The checksum formula used to calculate VID will be able to detect errors.
  • Virtual IDs can be generated from March 2018.
  • Aadhaar cardholders can generate Virtual IDs by visiting UIDAI’s official website, Aadhaar enrolment centres, or by downloading the mAadhaar app.
  • The validity period of the VID is limited.
  • UIDAI will set the validity period in accordance to its policy.
  • The Virtual ID can be changed once the set time period is over.
  • Only one VID will be valid and active at any given point of time.
  • Aadhaar cardholders can generate the Virtual ID as many times as they want.
  • Once the new VID is generated, the previous one will get cancelled automatically.
  • VIDs will be made compulsory for verification purposes from 01 June 2018 onwards.

 

Benefits of Virtual ID

UIDAI has announced the new system for increased security. The Virtual ID authentication is aimed to minimise the risk of data theft and exploitation. The major benefits of Aadhaar Virtual ID are:

  • Agencies cannot determine Aadhaar number from the random Virtual ID number.
  • Only limited information like name, address, and the photo of individuals will be provided to authorised agencies during verification.
  • Only the Aadhaar UID number holders can generate a Virtual ID number.
  • No one can generate the VID on behalf of the Aadhaar cardholder.
  • Aadhaar cardholders can generate, reclaim, or cancel their 16-digit VID both online and offline.
  • In case UID number holders forget their Virtual ID, they can place the old VID with a new one.
  • Individuals will be able to apply for services using this Aadhaar Virtual Id.
  • It can be used in place of Aadhaar number for authentication purposes.
  • Virtual ID numbers being temporary, no one can use it for data deduplication.

All authentication agencies must comply with the directives from UIDAI regarding VID authentication.

In case, a business refuses to accept Aadhaar Virtual ID, UIDAI might prohibit it from performing authentication services. Agencies might also face financial penalties for the same.
After the new system is launched, UIDAI will provide instructions to generate the Virtual ID number.

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