Aadhaar has turned out to be an essential identification document for all Indian citizens. Every citizen in the country is issued a unique Aadhaar number which is a centralised number, unique to every individual. Users are also provided with an Aadhaar card that stores an individual’s details in a government database. This card serves as a base for the government to implement citizen services and public welfare. The government uses different public awareness efforts to promote the Aadhaar card, yet, many users are unaware of certain benefits. Apart from providing unique identification, the Aadhaar card also helps Indian citizens to — avail of subsidies, passport acquisition, opening bank accounts and many more. However, your Aadhaar number can be misused by attackers and malicious actors and this is the reason for UIDAI to offer the masked Aadhaar card service. Here we will discuss what is a masked Aadhaar card and how can it be prevented from being misused.
What is UIDAI?
The Unique Identification Authority of India or UPDAI is a government body that was created to issue Unique Identification numbers (UID), known as “Aadhaar”, to all residents of India.
What is a masked Aadhaar card?
A masked Aadhaar number includes a 12-digit ID number that can be shared with others without any risk of being duped. Masked Aadhaars don’t reveal anything important about users’ personal information. This minimises the risks of fraud that can be committed against users. The official UIDAI website explains that the Mask Aadhaar option allows users to mask their Aadhaar number in their downloaded e-Aadhaar.
How does it work?
The masked Aadhaar number replaces the first eight digits of a user’s original Aadhaar number with characters like “XXXX-XXXX”. When users share their masked Aadhaar number with others, the receiver can see just the last four digits of the actual Aadhaar Number. The site also mentions that the Masked Aadhaar option is a legal way to download e-copies of your Aadhaar ID without the number being revealed. In 2018, UIDAI also shared a tweet on its official Twitter handle that mentioned that users can select the ‘Masked Aadhaar’ option while downloading their Aadhaar from its official website — https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in
Importance of masked Aadhaar card
Users can share their Masked Aadhaar for eKYC in places where sharing the complete Aadhaar Number is not necessary, as it only shows the last four digits of your Aadhaar. This security feature keeps the first eight masked or veiled to protect users from frauds and bad actors. Users can obtain the Masked Aadhaar through e-Aadhaar, which is a password protected electronic copy of Aadhaar. These online copies are digitally signed by the competent Authority of UIDAI. The Aadhaar Act defines that an e-Aadhaar is equally valid as a physical copy of Aadhaar for all purposes.
How to download Masked Aadhaar
- Visit UIDAI’s official website or you can just click on this link: https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in/
- Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar card number
- Select the option that says ‘I want a masked Aadhaar’
- Enter the Captcha verification code that will be provided by the site for verification
- Click on the option that says “Send OTP”
- Enter the received OTP and select the option “Download Aadhaar”
- Your e-Aadhaar copy will start downloading