The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has filed an FIR against the journalist of the Punjab-based 'The Tribune' newspaper following a report on how anonymous agents are selling leaked Aadhar information over WhatsApp.
A deputy director of UIDAI has filed a case against the scribe Rachna Khaira, and three other men mentioned in the report.
“The FIR has been registered by the UIDAI, but I have not gone through the FIR, therefore I cannot tell the names of all the persons named in the FIR... soon an investigation will be initiated,” Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar (Crime Branch) was quoted as saying by The Tribune on Sunday.
The report published on January 3 showed how anonymous sellers over WhatsApp were providing access to Aadhaar data. It was also said that for a fee of Rs 500 paid via Paytm, an agent of the group running the racket would provide a login ID and password to access information including name, address, postal code, photo, phone number and email of Indian citizens.
"Investigations by The Tribune reveal that the racket may have started around six months ago when some anonymous groups were created on WhatsApp. These groups targeted over 3 lakh village-level enterprise (VLE) operators hired by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (ME&IT) under the Common Service Centres Scheme (CSCS) across India, offering them access to UIDAI data.
"CSCS operators, initially entrusted with the task of making Aadhaar cards across India, were rendered idle after the job was withdrawn from them. The service was restricted to post offices and designated banks to avoid any security breach in November last year," the report said.
Following the Tribune report, the UIDAI had released a statement confirming that there has been no Aadhaar breach.
In March 2017, a similar FIR was filed against a CNN-News 18 journalist following the airing of a news clip showing that it was possible to obtain two separate Aadhaar enrollment numbers with the same set of biometrics.