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Last Updated : Dec 18, 2018 09:21 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Offline Aadhaar-based verification may resume through QR code: Report

All regulators are on the same page with respect to this, which suggests that it will be quickly rolled out once systems are in place

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Aadhaar-based verification of customers in an offline mode through QR code may resume over the next few weeks, The Economic Times reported.

The government is of the view that offline verification may stand legal scrutiny. "Offline authentication will stand scrutiny," Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told the paper.

Pandey added that all regulators are on the same page with respect to this, which suggests that it will be quickly rolled out once systems are in place.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

The news comes after the Cabinet on December 17 approved amending the existing laws to provide legal backing for seeding of biometric ID Aadhaar with mobile numbers and bank accounts as an optional know-your-customer (KYC).

The move would allow banks and telecom companies to resume customer acquisition that had stalled following the Supreme Court ruling in the Aadhaar case in September.

In the verdict, the apex court had struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, barring private companies from accessing the Aadhaar database for verification purposes.

Read — Aadhaar verdict: What the Supreme Court judgment means for you

According to the report, the UIDAI has already introduced machine-readable QR codes that hold relevant details such as names, addresses, and dates of birth of Aadhaar card holders.

Using the QR code, telecom operators and banks can authenticate customers' details in the offline mode without revealing the 12-digit ID.

The apex court's order left some gaps for the government to legislate if it wanted any particular services linked to the Aadhaar. One of these gaps could be filled through an amendment in the Telegraph Act, which would allow the inclusion of Aadhaar in the e-KYC options, according to media reports.

The government can access or take over these services in case of a public emergency, according to the Act.

Read — Here are 10 key takeaways from Supreme Court's Aadhaar verdict

Similarly, by tweaking the PMLA, individuals can link their bank accounts to Aadhaar for KYC. This would be completely voluntary.

A thorough KYC process is done so that the government is able to track sources of funds in cases of money laundering. Sources told the paper that if bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar, the tracking process would be easier and the amendments to PMLA would provide the necessary legal safety.

Moreover, the government is already working on the Data Protection Bill submitted by the Justice Srikrishna Commission, to address data privacy issues.
First Published on Dec 18, 2018 09:21 am
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