After first tweeting that it's mandatory to post a copy of the Aadhaar document on top of any parcels being sent overseas, the postal department has now clarified that this is not the case.
Even though the UIDAI has warned against publicly disclosing one's Aadhaar number, the Chief Postmaster General Delhi's official Twitter account posted on 29 August that people have to post their ID proofs on top of any parcels intended for overseas use. What's more, it added that to protect your Aadhaar data, you should write on the document, "ID PROOF FOR TRACKING PURPOSE ONLY".
The full tweet reads: "sir, pasting of ID proof is in accordance with international guidelines. For ensuring safety of your aadhar data, You can mention in Capital letters" ID PROOF FOR TRACKING PURPOSE ONLY" on your aadhar copy."
The Department of Posts then clarified in a statement on Monday that while it is mandatory to produce identity proof to book an international [arcel, Aadhaar is not the only ID that is accepted, and the ID does not have to be attached to the parcels.
Valid IDs also include driving licence, passport and voter ID, and such IDs are only required for office records, not for the consignments.
This highlights the information gap around the use of Aadhaar that has become a serious issue in India. Even as security concerns about Aadhaar hacks come to light, officials frequently refuse to provide services without producing an Aadhaar card.
Although Aadhaar is not mandatory in most places in India, there is a lot of pressure to introduce it everywhere, in both public and private sectors. Despite a stay from the Supreme Court, anyone who has tried to buy a new SIM card or avail of banking services can attest to how these companies also try and insist on the use of Aadhaar.
According to the press release from the PIB, instructions are being given to post offices to ensure that a copy of any ID proof is accepted, but the problems caused by unclear requirements and regulations are a larger issue that's all the more worrying when considering the possibility of Aadhaar hacks.