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What will happen to Aadhaar after death?

1.23 billion Aadhaar numbers already generated, as per the UIDAI website, it is easily the most widely held document in the country. Also, since so many government welfare schemes are linked with Aadhaar, it is one of the most important documents you will ever hold.

What will happen to your Aadhaar data after your death?

Current status

As of now, there is no such option to update a user's death in the Aadhaar database. Also, there is no provision, whatsoever, to cancel or surrender your Aadhaar, even in the event of death.

In some states, number of Aadhaar-holders greater than total population

In some states, data suggests that the number of Aadhaar holders is greater than the total population. For instance, Aadhaar saturation level in Delhi stands at 119.1%, implying that the number of Aadhaar holders is 19.1% more than its population.

A lack of provision to update user's death in UIDAI's database, or to cancel/surrender one's Aadhaar might be one of the reasons behind this.

A potential gateway for misuse?

While it is possible to cancel or surrender in case of documents such as PAN, Driving License, and Passport, there's still no provision in this regard for Aadhaar card.

So, it becomes pertinent to ask whether this may lead to potential misuse of Aadhaar data of a deceased person.

And, if the answer is yes, it is important to look at potential solutions.

What the UIDAI has to say

"Currently UIDAI does not have a provision of recording of the death of a person as it is a means of providing for identification of a living person. Hence, there is no need to inform UIDAI in such cases," reads a response on the FAQ section of the UIDAI website.

Preventing potential misuse: Locking Aadhaar biometrics

One way of preventing potential misuse of Aadhaar information after a user's death is locking of biometrics. The UIDAI lets its users to temporarily lock/unlock their biometrics, in order to de-facilitate any authentication process, and avoid misuse.


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