In a bid to protect confidentiality of users' data, the centre has asked telecom companies to overhaul their systems and networks to now accept VID or virtual IDs instead of Aadhaar and thereby switch to the new 'limited KYC' system.
The department of telecommunications (DoT) latest circular comes days ahead of the launch of the VID scheme scheduled for July 1. The department said, upon its implementation, telecom subscribers will be given the option to furnish either their aadhaar or VID generated by the UIDAI to verify and authenticate their personal details from the back-end resource.
The circular by the DoT says, "The licensee shall display the Aadhaar number or Virtual ID in masked form at the POS terminal and shall ensure that...(these are) not be stored anywhere in its systems/ applications/ database". Further the circular added that the licensee should then follow the e-KYC process using the UID or Unique ID token to ascertain the uniqueness of the subscriber and store it along with the other fields in the subscriber's database.
For existing telecom subscribers as a one-time measure, the aadhaar ID is allowed to be replaced with UID tokens. To this effect the circular added, "If any incident of alteration/manipulation of any other field of subscriber database comes to the notice of this Department, such connection shall be treated as pre-activated and penal action shall be taken".
Notably, telecom companies have removed Aadhaar as the required field in the subscriber's database and have instead replaced it with UID token.