The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the agency that administers Aadhaar, has said that plastic Aadhaar cards are unusable, and prone to data theft.
“There could be a possibility of sharing Aadhaar details (personal sensitive demographic information) without informed consent with some devious elements,” the UIDAI said in a release.
The agency reiterated that the Aadhaar letter, its cutaway portion or downloaded versions of Aadhaar on ordinary paper or mAadhaar are "perfectly valid" and warned people against falling for the plastic printed Aadhaar card trap, as the vendors charge anywhere between Rs 50 to Rs 300 or more.
The agency has asked people to keep away from such elements or shops or vendors. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, chief executive officer, UIDAI, said, "So-called Aadhaar Smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional. The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is perfectly valid for all kind of uses."
In case a person loses his Aadhaar card, he can download his Aadhaar card free of cost from https://eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in. The print out of the downloaded Aadhaar card, even in black and white form, is as valid as the original Aadhaar letter sent by UIDAI. There is absolutely no need to print it on plastic/PVC card or get it laminated.
UIDAI has cautioned unauthorized agencies not to collect Aadhaar information from the general public for printing of Aadhaar card as collecting such information or unauthorized printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner amounts to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under Indian Penal Code and Aadhaar Act, 2016.