The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) claims that it had enrolled over a billion residents for its Aadhaar number scheme. If you have an Aadhaar number, this translates to a constant threat of misuse of biometric data and information on the Aadhaar card. But UIDAI suggests that people can keep their Aadhaar data and biometrics safe from misuse by locking the data online and unlocking it temporarily when required.
Before knowing how to lock or unlock biometric data, let us understand how data is collected by UIDAI. While enrolling for an Aadhaar number, one is required to provide full name, address, mobile number, date of birth and so on. The UIDAI also captures a photograph of the person enrolling for Aadhaar but this does not constitute a part of your biometrics. Biometric data covers your 10 fingerprints and iris. So for locking and unlocking Aadhaar, you can only allow or disallow use of data related with your fingerprints and iris but not the other information that is collected for enrolment. In order to use this facility, you need to have your mobile number or email ID registered with UIDAI. You need to visit nearest centre and register or update your mobile number and email ID.
One your biometrics are locked, you cannot use them again for authentication unless you unlock your data from time to time.
Here is how you can lock or unlock (temporary) your biometrics.
How to lock biometrics in Aadhaar?
1. Visit https://resident.uidai.gov.in/biometric-lock
Here enter your Aadhaar number, the security code (number from the image). Click on the send OTP (one time passcode).
2. You will receive the OTP in the SMS on your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP and click on login.
3. Enter the security code and then click on ‘Enable Biometric Locking’.
4. The next screen will display if you have successfully ‘Enabled’ biometric locking on your Aadhaar number or no.
5. Your Aadhaar biometric information will remain locked. You can, however, unlock it temporarily if required.
How to Unlock biometrics in Aadhaar?
Unlocking Aadhaar details gives you two options, which are unlocking on temporary basis and on permanent basis. Here you need to follow similar process as mentioned above. Only difference is the duration for which you want to unlock the biometrics.
1. If you want to unlock your biometric details for temporary then click on “Unlock it”.
2. And if you want to unlock your biometric details permanently then uncheck the check box of “lock” and click on “disable locking”. But be careful as keeping biometrics unlocked may lead to its misuse.
While locking and unlocking your biometric data may seem like a painful process, it is best to be safe than sorry, once you have opted to have an Aadhaar. So make the effort to lock it after each authentication!
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