New Delhi March 27: After making Aadhaar verification compulsory for filing Income Tax returns and applying for a driving license, now the Department of Telecommunications has issued a notification stating that Aadhaar based e-KYC (Know Your Customer) is mandatory for mobile subscribers. DoT has also ordered telecom operators to start linking Aadhaar cards with all the existing subscribers within a year.
The Supreme Court in an order dated February 6, had passed in a Writ Petition (C) No 607/2016 filed by Lokiti Foundation vs Union of India, while taking into notice the matter of verification through Aadhaar based e-KYC process for issuing new telephone connection. The court had said that “an effective process has been evolved to ensure identity verification, as well as, the addresses of all mobile phone subscribers for new subscribers. In the near future, and more particularly within one year from today, a similar verification will be completed, in case of existing subscribers.”
Under the order, all operators will have to inform existing subscribers through advertisements in print and electronic mediums along with SMSs about the re-verification process. The telcos are also supposed to upload the details on their websites.
In the circular, DoT has also laid down instructions for telecom operators to follow for the re-verification process. DoT says that before initiating the e-KYC process, the operators are to confirm through a verification code that the SIM card is physically present with the subscriber.
“Only after this activity, the Licensee shall proceed for E-KYC process. After completion of E-KYC process, before updating or overwriting the old subscriber detail in database with data received through E-KYC process, the Licensee shall seek confirmation from subscriber about the re-verification of his/her mobile number after 24 Hours through SMS. If the subscriber does not respond within 3 daylight hours to SMS, the Licensee shall treat re-verification as positive and overwrite the subscriber database by E-KYC process data.”
The telecom operators can also verify more than one mobile connection through a single e-KYC process.
In a statement to the Economic Times , Rajan Mathews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that the whole re-verification drive is expected to cost at least Rs 1,000 crore, “in training people, getting recognition devices and setting up processes.”
Previously, questions have been raised about the security of the Aadhaar card data with reports that the database is not secure as UIDAI claims.