New Delhi: Taking the Aadhaar-privacy debate to a new level, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma on Saturday disclosed his 12-digit Aadhaar number on Twitter and challenged activists to show how public disclosure of it could harm him.
Hours later a French security expert posted Sharma’s personal address, phone number linked with the Aadhaar number, Pan Card details and his alternate phone number on a public domain. He even claimed that no bank account was linked to the Aadhaar number.
However, Sharma was dismissive about them, claiming that ethical hackers, who are against Aadhaar, are not as good as they claim to be.
Sharma had tweeted: “My Aadhaar number is XXXXXXXXXXXX. Now I give this challenge to you: Show me one concrete example where you can do any harm to me.” It all started when a user on Twitter challenged the Trai chief over his comments on the sanctity of personal information stored in the Aadhaar database.
The French security expert, who goes by the nickname Elliot Alderson however blacked-out most of the details. Later some Twitter users posted Sharma’s voter ID details and his address and even one personal picture supposed to be his WhatsApp display picture.
“People managed to get your personal address, DoB and your alternate phone number. I stop here, I hope you will understand why make your Aadhaar number public is not a good idea,” Mr Alderson wrote. However, Sharma refuted Alderson claims.
“Looks like you are not as good as you claim to be! All my bank accounts are linked to Aadhaar. Further, even if you know my bank account number, so what!” tweeted the Trai chief.
Sharma said that he did not challenge activists for phone number. “I challenged them for causing me harm! So far no success, wish them luck.” He further said that voter list is available in public and given to all political parties at the time of elections and the purpose of this (challenge), is to debunk the theory that Aadhaar compromises the privacy of the person.
Trai chief who will be retiring next week is supposed to be front runner of “Data Protection Authority” an agency which would look at enforcement and implementation of the new data protection law. He was the first director-general of the Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI in 2009 to issue Aadhaar numbers.