Aadhaar is one of the most important documents which can be used as an identity proof by an individual. Aadhaar number is required for several official works.
The government even ask people to link their bank accounts and PAN with Aadhaar. Even the SIM you are using in your phone can be linked with Aadhaar. If you want to buy a new SIM and wondering if Aadhaar is mandatory for getting it then here is what the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has to say.
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According to UIDAI, Aadhaar is not mandatory for getting mobile SIM. As per the amendments of the Telegraph Act, 1885, telecom users can use their Aadhaar number as a KYC documents along with authentication on voluntary basis to obtain a new mobile connection.
Further, for your own security and security of our country, it is advised to verify identity of all mobile subscribers using an identifier like Aadhaar. It has been found that most criminals and terrorists get SIM cards issued in the name of fictitious and even real people without their knowledge and use them for committing frauds and crime.
If mobile number is verified and linked with Aadhaar, the fraudsters, criminals, terrorists or money launderers using such disposable mobiles can be easily identified and punished in accordance with law, UIDAI said.
Also you may think if the mobile company can store your biometrics taken at the time of SIM verification and use it for other purposes later?
UIDAI has also informed that no one, including, mobile phone companies can store or use your biometrics taken at the time of Aadhaar verification. Your biometrics are encrypted as soon as you place your finger on fingerprint sensor and this encrypted data is sent to UIDAI for verification.
Regulation 17(1)(a) of the Aadhaar (Authentication) Regulations 2016, strictly prohibits any requesting entity which includes mobile phone companies, banks etc from storing, sharing or publishing the finger-prints for any reason whatsoever and neither shall it retain any copy of such fingerprints. Any violation of this provision is a punishable offence under the Aadhaar Act 2016,” UIDAI added.