Self-proclaimed French security expert and Aadhaar critic Elliot Alderson who revealed the personal contact details of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) Chairman RS Sharma has now challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make his Aadhaar number public, "that is if he has one."
"Hi @narendramodi, Can you publish your #Aadhaar number (if you have one)? Regards," wrote Alderson earlier today.
Alderson yesterday in a series of tweets had posted the mobile number, PAN number, alternative phone number, email ID, the personal phone number, his WhatsApp profile picture and some other sensitive data linked to the Aadhaar number belonging to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman RS Sharma.
The security researcher came to the limelight with his exchange of tweets with Sharma, where he accepted the latter's challenge and exposed these personal details.
Alderson through his handle @fs0c131y also posted a picture of Sharma with a portion of it blackened. "I supposed this is your wife or daughter next to you."
Soon, more ethical hackers joined the thread with more information on Sharma, saying that he is an iPhone user and he is yet to link his Aadhaar number to the bank account.
Alderson started his anti-Aadhaar campaign on March 10, 2018, by announcing that he is going to play a game by finding as many Aadhaar cards as he could in a span of three hours. When the time ran out, he posted details of 20,142 Aadhaar cards online. This was followed by the exposure of the weak password protection feature in the official Aadhaar Android application on March 13, when he bypassed through the security wall under a minute's time.
Interestingly, the Prime Minister had earlier claimed that the introduction of Aadhaar has helped the government in saving Rs 60,000 crore in a certain number of schemes which earlier used to reach the ‘wrong hands’.
“These days you keep hearing about Aadhaar. I want to say Aadhaar has added great strength to India’s development. What would earlier get into wrong hands is now going to the intended beneficiaries,” he had said at the national capital earlier this year.
However, the Prime Minister's Office is yet to respond to Elliot's challenge.
The high drama played out on the micro-blogging platform just a day after Justice Srikrishna committee came out with its report on data protection where it mooted changes in Aadhaar Act and proposed new safeguards to protect information of Aadhaar holders.
The Justice Srikrishna panel on data protection has recommended that Aadhaar Act be amended "significantly" to bolster privacy safeguards, and mooted that only public authorities discharging public functions approved by the UIDAI or entities mandated by law be given the right to request for identity authentication.
(The article has been edited as it carried a wrong Twitter handle and the error is deeply regretted.)