Your Aadhar Card contains your demographic as well as biometric data. Details like your name, age, address, signature, fingerprints, iris scan, etc. are loaded onto your Aadhar Card. The card, therefore, serves as a valid address proof, identity proof as well as the date of birth proof. But what if the data on your Aadhar Card is misused? The risk of misuse of your biometric data stored on Aadhar Card is potent. That is why the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has allowed Aadhar Cardholders to lock or unlock their biometric data which is stored on their Aadhar Cards. Do you know how you can lock or unlock the biometric details stored on your Aadhar Card? Let’s find out –
What are the Aadhaar biometric details?
Aadhaar biometric details include the scan of the irises of your eyes, fingerprints of all ten fingers and your photograph.
Why is the Aadhaar biometric lock recommended?
It is recommended that you keep your Aadhaar biometrics locked so that they can be used as and when you want. When the biometrics are locked no one can use your biometrics for any fraudulent transactions. Thus, locking your Aadhaar biometrics prevents misuse and keeps your details private and safe.
How to do Aadhar biometric lock?
To lock your biometric data on your Aadhar Card, you have two options. You can either lock the data from the UIDAI website or download mAadhar app and lock your biometrics through it. Here are the steps involved under both the options –
- Aadhar biometric lock online through UIDAI
UIDAI has a dedicated website which helps Aadhar cardholders to avail Aadhar related services that they need. The website allows any type of Aadhar related changes that you need. You can also do Aadhar biometric lock through the UIDAI website. It is an online process which takes minutes and locking or unlocking of your biometric details in Aadhar card can be done within the shortest possible time. The process for the same is mentioned below –
- You would have to visit the website of UIDAI which is https://uidai.gov.in/
- On the home page, you would find different tabs. Choose ‘My Aadhar’ then ‘Aadhar Services’ and then choose ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- Click on the message ‘I Understand that after biometric lock enable, I will not perform biometric authentication until I unlock Biometrics’ and then click on ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- You would have to login by providing your 12-digit Aadhar card number and a captcha code
- Then click on ‘Send OTP’ or ‘Enter TOPT’
- An OTP would be generated which you should enter
- Once the OTP is verified, your biometric details would be locked
- Aadhar biometric lock through mAadhar
mAadhar is a mobile application which allows you to access Aadhar related services on your Smartphone. With mobile applications becoming the norm for most activities, UIDAI has also developed a mobile application for Aadhar based services. This application allows you to access any type of service pertaining to your Aadhar card right from your Smartphone. You can, therefore, also lock your biometric data using the mAadhar application. The process is as follows –
- Download and install the application on your mobile phone. The application is available both on Google Play Store if you use an Android mobile as well as on Apple Store if you use an Apple phone.
- Open the application and create your profile. To do so you would have to enter in your Aadhar card number and verify it through an OTP
- Once the profile is created, choose ‘My Aadhar’ on the application
- You would have to enter in a 4-digit PIN which you would have created when you opened the application for the first time
- Once the PIN is entered, you would go to your profile page. On the page, choose ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- You can then choose to ‘Lock Biometrics’. Once chosen, you would get an OTP on your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP and your biometric would be locked
How to do Aadhar biometric unlock?
If you want to use your biometrics for authentication purposes, you would have to unlock the locked biometric data so that the same can be used for authentication. Aadhar biometric unlock can also be done through the UIDAI website or through the mAadhar application. The process of both the options is mentioned below –
- Aadhar biometric unlock through UIDAI
- Visit the UIDAI website https://uidai.gov.in/. Under the tab ‘My Aadhar’ go-to ‘Aadhar Services’ and then choose ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- On the next page, click on the message ‘I Understand that after biometric lock enable, I will not perform biometric authentication until I unlock Biometrics’ and click on ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- On the next page provide your Aadhar card number and the captcha code
- Choose ‘Send OTP’ or ‘Enter TOPT’ and enter in the OTP sent to your registered mobile number
- Once the OTP is verified your biometric details would be unlocked
- Aadhar biometric unlock through mAadhar
If you have mAadhar application, you can create your profile and then choose to unlock your biometric details. The process is as follows –
- Open the application and go to your profile by choosing ‘My Aadhar’
- You would be prompted to provide the PIN number to view your profile. Provide the PIN and enter your profile page
- On the page, you would be able to see the option of ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- Go to the option and it would show that your biometric is locked. Choose ‘Unlock Biometrics’ and your biometric detail would be unlocked. You would also be shown the time up to which the details would remain unlocked. After the prescribed time is over, the details would be automatically locked.
Features of locking/unlocking biometrics in Aadhar
Here are some common features of locking or unlocking your biometric details in Aadhar –
- Locking your biometrics prevent unauthorised use of your personal details
- If you want to do any type of authentication using your Aadhar biometrics, you would have to unlock it
- If the biometric is unlocked, it stays unlocked for minutes and then it is automatically locked
- You can also disable the locking of your biometric details
- For unlocking or locking of your biometric details, your mobile number would be required for OTP generation. You should, therefore, ensure that your mobile number is registered in the Aadhar database to receive the OTP
Disabling Aadhaar biometric lock
Once you lock your Aadhaar biometrics, you would be able to use the biometrics only after you unlock them. The unlocked biometrics get locked automatically 10 minutes post unlocking and you would have to unlock again if needed. To avoid multiple unlocking, you can also disable the Aadhaar biometric lock. Disabling the biometric lock would be allowed only when your biometrics are locked. It can be done either through the online website of UIDAI or through mAadhaar. The process of disabling the biometric lock through both these ways is as follows –
- Disabling biometric lock online through UIDAI
- Visit https://resident.uidai.gov.in/ and under ‘My Aadhaar’ go-to ‘Aadhaar Services’ and choose ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- In the next page, click ‘I Understand that after biometric lock enable, I will not perform biometric authentication until I unlock Biometrics’ and then ‘Lock/Unlock Biometrics’
- Enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number followed by the captcha code and hit ‘Send OTP’
- a 6-digit OTP would be sent to your registered mobile number which you should enter and then click on ‘Submit’
- You would be taken to a new page where the option ‘Disable Biometric Lock’ would be mentioned. Click on the option and your biometric lock would be disabled
- Disabling biometric lock through mAadhaar application
- Download and register on the mAadhaar application on your Smartphone
- Once registered, go to ‘My Aadhaar’ by providing the 4-digit PIN code which you had set at the time of registration
- In the ‘My Aadhaar’ page, you would be shown ‘Biometrics Locked’ in red. Click on this option
- A new page would open where you would find the options of ‘Unlock Biometrics’, ‘Disable Biometrics Lock’ and ‘Go to My Aadhaar’
Choose ‘Disable Biometrics Lock’ to disable the locking feature. An OTP would be sent to your registered mobile number and once you enter the OTP, the locking feature would be disabled.
So, if you want your biometric details to remain safe and secured, lock the details on your Aadhar card. If the details are needed for authentication you can unlock them easily online. So, use your biometrics safely and with caution.
No, locking or unlocking of biometrics does not incur any charge.
If your mobile number is not linked with Aadhar then you would have to, first, get the number linked with your Aadhar card. Only when your number is linked would you be able to use Aadhar services online including locking or unlocking of biometric details.
If the biometric lock is disabled, your biometric details would remain unlocked and easily accessible. You can, then, choose to lock the biometrics if you want to secure your biometric data.
No, there is no option of doing Aadhar biometric lock or Aadhar biometric unlock offline. The locking and unlocking of your biometric details would have to be done online either through the website of UIDAI or through the mobile application of Aadhar which is mAadhar.
It might so happen that one mobile number is registered for multiple Aadhaar card numbers. In that case, to lock or unlock biometrics, you would have to individually specify the Aadhaar card numbers on which you want to lock or unlock the biometric data. The mobile number would remain the same and the OTP would be sent to the same number. However, for locking or unlocking of biometric data of multiple Aadhaar cards, the numbers of the cards would have to be mentioned and the locking or unlocking process would have to be done separately for each Aadhaar card number.