The government is moving forward with linking Aadhaar with mobile SIM cards and all unlinked phones will be deactivated after February 2018, said informed sources.
The sources said Aadhaar mobile linkage is being done as per the orders of Supreme Court passed in February this year in Lokniti foundation case and all SIM cards have to be verified with Aadhaar within a year from the date of conclusion, with all unlinked phones to be deactivated after February next year, therefore criminals, fraudsters, and terrorists can’t use the issued SIMs.
The sources said that biometrics cannot be stored by the mobile operators nor that they have access to any of the other personal data.
They said biometrics gathered should be encrypted by telecom firm and sent to UIDAI at that moment itself and any storage of biometric by a service provider is a criminal offense punishable with up to 3 decades of imprisonment under the Aadhaar Act 2016.
The Central government had told the Supreme Court in February that it could put in position, within a calendar year, an effective mechanism for the verification of prepaid mobile users that constitute 90 percent of the total subscribers.
Asking the government to put in place the mechanism to the verification of existing prepaid mobile connection holders “as early as possible”, the court disposed of the petition by Lokniti Foundation seeking the scrutiny of their subscribers to ensure people having pre-paid mobile connections on fake identities are weeded out.