Three websites in Gujarat have disclosed Aadhaar numbers, addresses and names of beneficiaries on their portals, The Times of India reported on Monday quoting the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The three websites in question are that of the Gujarat government, the director of Developing Caste Welfare, and the Gujarat University.
However, there is no information on how many people have been affected by the alleged breach.
Social Justice and Welfare Minister Ishwar Parmar, who is responsible for the affairs of the Developing Caste Welfare of the State, said he was unaware of the breach. “I have recently assumed charge, so I am not aware of any such breach of privacy through Aadhaar data leak,” he told The Times of India. Similarly, Gujarat University Vice Chancellor Himanshu Pandya denied having any information about the matter, but said he would look into the allegations.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, too, said he was unaware of the breach. “I do not have any information on the issue,” he told the daily.
This comes at a time when the Centre is facing criticism after the Unique Identification Authority of India filed an FIR against The Tribune for a report on the Aadhaar programme. The daily had reported that anonymous sellers, operating through messaging service WhatsApp, were allegedly providing access to details of the more than 1 billion Aadhaar holders.
On January 4, the UIDAI had claimed that The Tribune had misreported an article about a breach of biometric data. In a rebuttal to the UIDAI’s accusation, The Tribune had stood by its report, and said the Aadhaar authority, in its response, had in fact admitted to the “misuse” of biometric data.