If Amazon asks you for your Aadhaar details, here’s what you need to say
Online retailer Amazonhas asked customers to upload their Aadhaar numbers to track lost packages. A Bengaluru-based car rental platform Zoomcar has said it won’t accept bookings without Aadhaar as proof of identity. While Amazon and other internet companies are now making the 12-digit unique identity number mandatory for customers to avail of their services, is it safe to share your Aadhaar number with them?
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that manages Aadhaar may not advise you to do that. Last year on its Twitter handle, UIDAI cautioned users against sharing their Aadhaar number with anyone:
UIDAI also urged people to self-attest copies of their Aadhaar cards so that it cannot be out to other uses.Read more ↓
“Wherever you are submitting a copy of your Aadhaar, self-attest it and state the purpose clearly to avoid misuse,” the tweet read. Clearly, UIDAI suspects if your Aadhaar number lands with a third party it can be misused. Can one be sure online retailers can protect your Aadhaar identity? Amazon believes it has a secure form of storing information.
“Amazon continues to look for the most robust practices towards customer support and this process is only done in limited cases where a detailed check is needed for a missing or wrong delivery. In such cases, customers are requested to upload a scanned copy of their Aadhaar card on their Amazon.in account, which is a secure form of storing information,” its spokesperson said.
However, experts have highlighted privacy risks of sharing Aadhaar information. “The use of Aadhaar in this manner could lead to privacy risks in terms of implications of publication of Aadhaar data, as well as the use of data including Aadhaar and other customer information that could lead to individual profiling,” said lawyer Smitha Prasad, project manager, Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi.