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UIDAI rubbishes claims that RS Sharma's personal details could be retrieved using Aadhaar number

By Vikas

New Delhi, July 29: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Sunday rubbished claims that personal information of TRAI chairman R S Sharma, who had made his Aadhaar number public on Twitter, could be retrieved using his Aadhaar number.

Representational image

RS Sharma earlier disclosed his Aadhaar number on the microblogging site and challenged everyone to show how mere knowledge of the unique number could be used to harm him, triggering a deluge of tweets that claimed to disclose his personal details from PAN to mobile number.

"Any information published on Twitter about RS Sharma wasn't fetched from Aadhaar database or UIDAI's servers. In fact, this so-called "hacked" information was already available in public domain as he being a public servant for decades and was easily available on Google and other sites," news agency ANI quoted an UADAI statement as saying.

The challenge by Sharma evoked an immediate response from the Twitterati, with some users claiming to have dug up his mobile number, photographs, residential address, date of birth and even chat threads using the information, while others warned him about the perils of throwing such a dare on the social media platform.

The challenge by Sharma has got over 2,850 retweets, and 3,364 likes, and the numbers continued to climb well into the night. Sharma himself continued to engage in the verbal duel with the Twitterati till late hours, dismissing much information being revealed as 'public information' and seeking to debunk the theory that "Aadhaar compromises the privacy of the person".

"...Yeh details koi state secret nahin hain (These details are no state secret)...," retorted Sharma at one point, even chiding one of the users for disclosing an address that was old and asking if he (the user) would like to have his latest address.

[In a dare TRAI chief makes Aadhaar details public, Twitter responds with his PAN, phone number]

The high drama played out on the microblogging platform just a day after Justice Srikrishna committee came out with its report on data protection where it mooted changes in the Aadhaar Act and proposed new safeguards to protect information of Aadhaar holders.

Sharma, former UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) director general, has been an ardent supporter of the Aadhaar program, vouching for the safety of the system, and dispelling privacy concerns surrounding Aadhaar even during his current tenure as TRAI Chief.

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