There have been 165 breaches of data of Indian citizens between January 2018 and October 2023, the Centre has told the Rajya Sabha.

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar presented the data on December 8 in response to a question by Trinamool Congress MP Saket Gokhale.

The minister made the statement citing data reported to and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.

Chandrasekhar claimed that no breach of Aadhaar data has occurred from the Central Identities Data Repository maintained by the Unique Identification Authority of India.

However, in January 2018, The Tribune claimed to have “purchased” a “service being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp” for “unrestricted access” to details of the more than one billion Aadhaar holders.

The Unique Identification Authority of India, which manages the Centre’s Aadhaar system, had insisted that there had not been any Aadhaar data breach, and the “information is fully safe and secure”.

Chandrasekhar also said that the government has taken several measures to ensure the safety of data on the government-run CoWIN platform, which holds information linked to more than 110 crore persons who got Covid-19 vaccinations in India. He said that the beneficiaries can only access vaccination details through a one-time password, and details such as mobile number and Aadhaar number are masked.

However, in June, reports claimed that personal data of those who registered on the CoWIN platform to get their coronavirus vaccines had been leaked.

A bot on a Telegram group was providing purported details like names, date of birth, phone number as well as passport number or Aadhar number of individuals who had registered for vaccinations on CoWIN, reports said.

Chandrasekhar had at the time said that the data seemed to have been accessed from previously breached databases.

Gokhale on Tuesday alleged that the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre “lied for all these years” and denied reports about data breaches of personal data of Indians. He also questioned why the Centre did not answer his query on whether these data breaches were investigated.

Also read: Stolen fingerprints, empty bank accounts: How customers are paying for gaps in Aadhaar