The government is moving ahead with linking Aadhaar with mobile SIM cards and all unlinked phones will be deactivated after February 2018, said informed sources.
The sources said Aadhaar mobile linkage is being done as per the orders of Supreme Court passed in February this year in Lokniti foundation case and all SIM cards have to be verified with Aadhaar within a year from the date of judgement, with all unlinked phones to be deactivated after February next year, so criminals, fraudsters and terrorists cannot use the issued SIMs.
The sources said that biometrics cannot be stored by the mobile operators nor they have access to any of the other personal data.
They said biometrics collected should be encrypted by telecom company and sent to UIDAI at that moment itself and any storage of biometric by a service provider is a criminal offence punishable with up to three years of imprisonment under the Aadhaar Act 2016.
The Central government had told the Supreme Court in February that it would put in place, within a year, an effective mechanism for the verification of pre-paid mobile users who constitute 90 percent of the total subscribers.
Asking the government to put in place the mechanism for the verification of existing pre-paid mobile connection holders "as early as possible", the court disposed of the petition by Lokniti Foundation seeking the scrutiny of the subscribers so that those having pre-paid mobile connections on fake identities are weeded out.