Why the Aadhaar database is fatally compromised, why the UIDAI has known about it for years, and how they covered it up. (thread)
2. This is a story about a scandal so big it should have marked the cancellation of the entire Aadhaar project (and, if fully reported, still will).
3. It begins in Hyderabad, in 2012. The Govt of undivided Andhra Pradesh was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of Aadhaar. So much so that, by 2012, Hyderabad district *already had more Aadhaar numbers than people*.
4. IL&FS was one of the original companies approved (’empanelled’) by the UIDAI to undertake Aadhaar enrolment back in July 2010 (before the first Aadhaar number had even been issued).
5. IL&FS was then contracted by the AP State Registrar (the AP Dept of Civil Supplies) as one of several enrolment agencies selected to carry out Phase I and Phase II Aadhaar enrolment on behalf of the State Registrar
.6. This it did at a frantic pace, working alongside the other UIDAI-empanelled enrolment agencies contracted by the AP State Registrar. These were:
– eCentric Solutions
– Gouthami Ed. Soc.
– Grapesoft Solutions
– Infronics Sys.
– Madras Sec. Printers
– Tera Software
7. Then, on April 20th 2012, the AP Dept of Food and Civil Supplies received a confidential communication from the UIDAI (Ref: UIDAI/Hyd/AP-Fraudulent Enris/133055).
8. This stated that an IL&FS enrolment operator – one Mohammed Ali – had carried out 60 fraudulent enrolments under the biometric exception category, all of which had already resulted in the issuance of Aadhaar numbers.
9. These Aadhaar enrolments, details of which were provided by the UIDAI, had only been retrospectively identified as fraudulent because the image provided was an obvious photograph of a photograph (a so-called ‘photo-on-photo’ enrolment).
10. The UIDAI’s letter stated that the same operator had undertaken a total of 870 b/m exception enrolments in October 2011 which it presumed were mainly fictitious, and also “around 30,000 [regular] enrolments in the last few months” which “appear to be fraudulent”.
11. Upon receiving this notification, the AP Commissioner of Civil Supplies (Harpreet Singh) wrote to the Hyderabad Commissioner of Police on April 23rd providing details of the UIDAI’s letter (including the 60 enrolments attached)
.12. On April 26th, an FIR was formally filed under Sections 468, 471, 420, 419 and 120(b) at Charminar Police Station (No: 106/2012), naming the accused as “Mohammed Ali” and “Employees of Infrastructure Leasing Financial Services Ltd., and others”.
13. Then, on April 27th, the Times of India broke the story.
And that’s when everything started to unravel for the UIDAI.