Andhra Pradesh

Aadhaar numbers of 89 lakh rural workers put up online

The Aadhaar numbers of more than 89 lakh individuals enrolled in the MGNREGA scheme in Andhra Pradesh were made available in the public domain by the State government.

The numbers were, however, masked hours after Hyderabad-based Internet security researcher Kodali Srinivas flagged the disclosure over email on Thursday morning.

Under the Benefit Disbursement Portal (BDP) that deals with the MGNREGA wages and Social Security Pensions, the names, villages, job card numbers and the Aadhaar numbers (UIDs) of 89,38,138 persons who had linked their Aadhaar accounts with the scheme were placed on the website, accessible to all. The scheme has 1.02 crore beneficiaries. The benefits portal is maintained by AP Online.

This came a day after the alleged leak of Aadhaar numbers, caste information, bank account numbers and other details of beneficiaries of housing schemes by the State Housing Corporation.

After the leak was brought to light by Mr. Srinivas, the authorities removed the Aadhaar numbers and some other details of the beneficiaries.

The bank account and ration card numbers, caste and some other details of more than 44.97 lakh people were still available on the website.

‘Serious violation’

“This is a serious violation of privacy. The State government is doing this in the name of transparency but the same can be misused by the political parties, e-commerce aggregators, businessmen and others to draw up their strategies,” Mr. Srinivas said over phone. He had not received any response from officials.

“We have ordered an inquiry into the availability of data on the Housing Corporation website. We are verifying how it happened,” K. Vijayanand, Principal Secretary (IT), told The Hindu.

However, senior officials of the IT department were unaware that the Aadhaar details were available on the BDP.

“We have just opened the Andhra Pradesh Cyber Security Operations Centre. It will take another one week time to stabilise,” said Mr. Vijayanand, adding that all precautions to not expose public information would be taken by the new centre.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 1:44:21 PM |

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