More than age of universe needed to break Aadhaar encryption: UIDAI to SC

More than age of universe needed to break Aadhaar encryption: UIDAI to SC

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More than age of universe needed to break Aadhaar encryption: UIDAI to SC

The UIDAI on Thursday told the Supreme Court that all Aadhaar-related information, including biometrics, are safe as sharing of any information was prohibited under the law.

The UIDAI also told the apex court that about four crore authentications of identity are done every day across the country through Aadhaar.

"Aadhaar data is safe with 2048-bit encryption and are deposited at the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR). Once biometric data is available it will never go away. It will take more than the age of the universe and the fastest computer on earth or any supercomputer to break one bit of encryption," said Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of UIDAI.

He also refuted reports of denial to any person entitlements due to the failure of Aadhaar authentication.

In a rare event, Pandey made a powerpoint presentation before a five-judge Constitution bench, presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

The bench is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number.

While admitting that there is no 100% authentication with Aadhaar, Pandey maintained that there is no possibility of profiling a user on the basis of religion or caste or any other basis as the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is blind to such details.

Pandey said in case of failure of biometric, authentication can be done through other details like iris. If this also fails, a one time password is generated for authentication.

"In the digital age, it is easy to create multiple IDs but there is no possibility of anyone getting two Aadhaar cards," Pandey, who has been associated with the project since 2010, explained.

During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked him why the UIDAI had blacklisted about 49,000 operators.

To this, Pandey said these operators were corrupt, careless and had harassed the general public. He said at present about 30,000 agencies can issue 1.5 million Aadhaar cards daily. The presentation will continue on Tuesday.