Hyderabad: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman R.S. Sharma, in a bid to prove that divulging one’s Aadhaar number online was harmless, had revealed his UID on Twitter recently.
His move, however, backfired. Netizens not only managed to get hold of his personal information but also attempted to ask him for money.
The Trai chief had challenged hackers that revealing one’s Aadhaar number online cannot cause any damage but only serve to empower the people.
A number of people attempted to expose his personal information like his address, phone number and e-mail id. Some users sent him a nominal amount of money asking him to fix the system, yet others wanted to borrow money from him.
Late on Monday night, Mr Sharma shared pictures of the requests for money he received on the BHIM app.
In a tweet he said, “Forget about withdrawing money from my a/c, these “hackers” could not even deposit the Re 1 (sic)”. However, the users were checking if money could be withdrawn.
Many users started requesting for Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 and some even Re 1. When this newspaper approached a couple of senders, the citizens claimed that they were trying to see if they could request him for money.
Mr Sharma’s step not only only revealed his details, but also put the citizens on risk by sharing their details online.
Some people were also caught unaware that the Trai chief had posted pictures with their details online.
A netizen, on condition of anonymity, said, “I am not well-versed with the app and was just trying to see what all we could try. So I tried requesting for money as he said it would not be a problem. Evidently this is a threat to my security now.”
Mr Sharma pointed out that the attempts were made using his Aadhaar number and not bank account number.
Another user Prudhvi said, “I was trying to see if I put in a request, would I get his bank account number. A bank account number is a private detail which should not be available for anyone by design. Even if I don’t give my Aadhaar number, they can send me money without my knowledge.”
Most netizens were horrified that he had posted their numbers online.
They wanted the tweet to be taken down immediately as he had not only posted his number publicly but it could lead to a security threat for others who took up his challenge....