Don’t Worry, Your Mobile Number Will Not Get Deactivated

On Wednesday, media reports pointed out that over 50 million mobile numbers activated via eKYC will be deactivated in the coming months. This caused panic among users, who were looking to get some concrete answers whether they’ll have their numbers shut down or not.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued a clarification. To answer these questions UIDAI has issued a notification that quashes all the rumours of numbers getting deactivated. It says people have nothing to worry about. This press statement was jointly put out by the entity governing Aadhaar and the Department of Telecom (DoT) on Thursday.

The statement also goes on to mention that going forward, a new method to issue SIM cards will be set up via a mobile app, that’ll ensure a digital and hassle-free process.

In addition to this, the statement quotes the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar and clarifies that telecom operators need not delete eKYC data of its users. Instead, the are required to keep it intact to address any customer grievances.

The UIDAI-DoT issued statement also highlighted that, post the SC judgement on use of Aadhaar by private entities getting scrapped via Section 57, a user can delink Aadhaar ID from account by submitting an Officially Valid Document (OVD) to the telco asking for its removal.

Also Read: Aadhaar Ruling Explained: What the 5-Judge Constitution Bench Said

No Aadhaar But eKYC via Mobile App for Issuing SIM

The other important news shared by UIDAI via the detailed statement was to emphasise on the need to continue using eKYC formats for issuing SIM cards. And with Aadhaar no longer in contention, DoT proposes to offer a mobile app that it claims will be fully compliant with the SC judgement.

Also Read: UIDAI Asks Telcos to Submit Plan to Discontinue Aadhaar-Based eKYC

If it comes through, then a person will be required to submit his/her photograph, along with latitude and longitude and time stamp of when the photo is captured. This will be further facilitated with a photo ID from Aadhaar, voter ID or possibly passport, which will also be captured.

This process will be initiated by a SIM agent, who will be authenticated via OTP on your registered mobile number and only then will a new SIM be issued.

The steps mentioned by UIDAI, capturing location details (via GPS) are unlikely to go down well with the consumers, who’re already concerned about data privacy. Will people be willing to share all this information, just to get a SIM card? Unless it is made mandatory, there is likely to be more dissent about the process from the people.

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