UIDAI cautions against using plastic, laminated Aadhaar cards

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has cautioned the public against going for plastic or laminated Aadhaar smart cards, saying their unauthorized printing could render the QR code dysfunctional or even expose personal data without an individual’s informed consent. The UIDAI asserted that the Aadhaar letter, its cutaway portion, downloaded versions of Aadhaar on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are “perfectly valid”. Moreover, unauthorized printing of Aadhaar smart cards could cost between Rs 50-300, or even more, a payment that is completely unnecessary, it said. “The plastic or PVC Aadhaar smart cards are often not usable as the QR code (Quick Response Code) commonly becomes dysfunctional during such unauthorized printing at some vendor/shop,” UIDAI said in a statement. It further said, “Also, there could be a possibility of sharing Aadhaar details (personal sensitive demographic information) without informed consent with some devious elements.”

UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said the plastic Aadhaar Smart card is totally “unnecessary and a waste” as the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is valid for all kind of uses. “There is no concept such as smart or plastic Aadhaar card,” Pandey added.

Advising people to be cautious, Pandey asked individuals not to share their Aadhaar number or personal details with unauthorized agencies for getting it laminated, or printed on plastic cards. The nodal body also cautioned unauthorized agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from public for printing of Aadhaar cards saying collecting such information or unauthorized printing of Aadhaar card is a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under law.

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