Govt rubbishes report of 50 cr mobile numbers facing disconnection

SIM cards issued through Aadhaar will not be disconnected re-verification of mobile subscribers' KYC details to be optional Government

SIM cards issued through Aadhaar will not be disconnected re-verification of mobile subscribers' KYC details to be optional Government

Over 50 crore mobile phone subscribers may face fresh KYC headache. Instead, it announced a new digital authentication mechanism for issuance of SIM cards, while asking people not to "panic".

On Wednesday, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan discussed the issue with telcos at a meeting to find a way out and is also in talks with Aadhaar body - Unique Identification Authority of India, the publication said.

It further noted that the Supreme Court has not asked operators to delete existing eKYC data of their customers. This issue has come up following the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar where court barred private companies from using individual's unique ID for authentication. "The SIM card will be authenticated through OTP and then issued", a joint statement by the DoT and the UIDAI said on Thursday.

Putting rumours to rest, the statement pointed out that "In light of the verdict, if anybody wishes to get her or his Aadhaar eKYC replaced by the fresh KYC, she or he may request the service provider for de-linking of their Aadhaar by submitting fresh OVDs (official valid documents) as per earlier DOT circulars on mobile KYC". But in any case her/his mobile number will not be disconnected.

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"In the proposed process, live photograph of the person with latitude, longitude, and time stamp will be captured". Also, the photo of her ID such as Aadhaar card, voter ID, etc., will be captured.

Meanwhile, telecommunications companies Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have submitted their plans to exit the Aadhaar ecosystem, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

Therefore, there is no need for telecom companies or AUAs to delete authentication logs at their end.

Apart from Jio, there would be similar subscribers (who have been given SIM cards only on the basis of Aadhaar authentication) in the fold of nearly all the other phone companies - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, and state-owned BSNL and MTNL. SIM cards procured on the basis of Aadhaar verification will be disconnected if they are not backed up by a fresh identification. But they added that their sudden exit from the Aadhaar process will mean more investments, which will become a financial burden.

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