Aadhaar card has always been a topic of discussion since it’s launch. But in the last few months, headlines questioning the security of our biometrics have increased too much. Earlier, we have heard many stories about the leaked details of celebrities and now there are sources claiming that just by knowing anyone’s Aadhaar number you can retrieve the names of the banks he/she has an account in.

Anyway, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has come up with a new solution to safeguard biometric details of citizens from any chances of misuse. The UIDAI has now released a concept of a temporary 16-digit Virtual ID (VID) that can be used by Aadhaar Holders for authentication purposes.

With time, Aadhaar has become mandatory for availing almost every government services as well as many private services in India. If we talk about current scenario – banks, financial institutions, government agencies, permanent account number (PAN) and many others are asking for your Aadhaar number. But with the Virtual ID, users can furnish 16-digit temporary Virtual ID for verification purposes.

What is Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID)?

Today, if I want to buy a sim card, just by scanning my finger, the retailer can access all my Aadhaar details. Using 16-digit random Virtual ID together with biometrics would give limited details like name, address and photograph, which are enough for any verification. In this way, citizens can avail any services which require Aadhaar number without actually sharing the Original Aadhaar number.

How Aadhaar Virtual ID (VID) Works?

Virtual ID will be a temporary 16-digit random number mapped with the Aadhaar number. With this technique, UIDAI is trying to provide an intermediate level of a security between the authenticator and the original sensitive data.

VID will be created using Verhoeff algorithm. It’s a checksum formula for error detection developed by Dutch mathematician Jacobus Verhoeff. According to UIDAI, “the last digit of the VID is the checksum which will ensure that at a time, there will be only one active and valid Virtual ID for an Aadhaar number”. “VID is revocable and can be replaced by a new one by Aadhaar number holder after the minimum validity period set by UIDAI policy,” the UIDAI added.

When can We create our Virtual IDs?

You can create your Virtual ID from March 1, 2018. And after three months, from June 1, 2018, it will be compulsory for all agencies that engage authentication to accept Virtual ID from their users.


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