Aadhaar data to be deleted if mobile customer gives alternative KYC documents, says telecom body COAI

Government says there is no threat of discontinuation of mobile numbers issued using Aadhaar.

October 18, 2018 01:31 pm | Updated 11:07 pm IST - New Delhi

Representational image. File

Representational image. File

Mobile service customers who want to get their Aadhaar details removed from the records of telecom operators would need to provide alternative verification documents, industry body COAI said on October 18.

The Cellular Operators Association of India, as also directed by the Department of Telecom, said that the services will not be disconnected during the change in documentation process.

“Telecom players had a meeting with the Department of Telecom and they have been clarified that customers willing to get their Aadhaar details deleted from telecom operator data base should be allowed to do so against valid identity and address proof,” COAI Director-General Rajan S. Mathews said.

COAI, whose members include Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea etc, said Aadhaar remains a valid document for customer verification like other government authorised documents including passport, PAN card, Driving License, Voter ID etc, however, while getting a new connection, no authentication of subscriber details by UIDAI will be done now.

“Telecom operators always comply with instructions and regulations passed by DoT and we will adhere to the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s verdict. We shall await further orders and instructions from DoT,” Mr. Mathews said.

He said that Aadhaar is a robust and convenient method of subscriber authentication.

“The industry is prepared to work closely with DoT to find viable and legal solutions of using Aadhaar based identification process which also fits with the Government’s Digital India mission. Currently, we are closely working with DoT to build a completely hassle-free alternate digital verification process. Customers’ convenience tops the priority for our member operators and the industry is committed to ensure that subscribers face no disturbances whatsoever,” Mr. Mathews said.

He said customers who want to get their Aadhaar erased from operators database will need to call their operators to check about point of sales or service where they need to go with request for deletion of Aadhaar records.

‘No threat of SIM deactivation’

The government on October 18 said there is no threat of discontinuation of mobile numbers issued using Aadhaar, following the Supreme Court ruling that barred use of the national biometric ID by private companies.

Debunking reports that over 50 crore, or half of the mobile SIMs in the country, face deactivation, the Department of Telecommunication and the 12-digit unique identity number-issuing authority UIDAI in a joint statement said, mobile phone users at their choice can seek a change of their Aadhaar-based authentication done in the past with alternate proof of identity without any disconnection of the number.

An alternative form for buying new SIMs through a mobile app that will time capture photograph of persons along with ID proof such as Aadhaar card, voter ID or passport is in the works.

“The Supreme Court in its judgement in Aadhaar case has nowhere directed that the mobile number which has been issued through Aadhaar e-KYC has to be disconnected,” it said.

Terming the report as “completely untrue and imaginary”, the government said there is no reason for panic or fear at all.

“People should not believe in such rumours,” it said

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.