According to official sources, UIDAI’s Virtual ID, which will be issued from March 2018 and will allow over 118 crore Aadhaar holders to generate a 16-digit temporary number that can be shared with a financial institution like bank, insurance company and telecom service provider instead of the 12-digit Aadhaar number. The government has asked all financial and insurance service providers to upgrade their electronic systems to mandatorily allow for the new tool from May or June. Users can opt to use the Virtual ID as many times as they want, or keep generating a new one every time the users have to share their unique ID.
Explaining an important feature, an official said, ‘It will not be possible to locate an individual’s Aadhaar number by using the Virtual ID’
Besides, one of the other safety feature introduced relates to limited sharing of information, again aimed at preventing possible misuse and data theft. Instead of the current system where the five details — name, date of birth, photo, address and mobile number — are shared with the service provider at the time of authentication, the new feature will allow only need based sharing of data. For instance, if you want a new mobile connection, the telco will get only your name, photo and address. For a passport, though, all data may be shared.