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How to Lock/Unlock Your Aadhar Biometrics Details

Aadhaar number has become the most important and integral part of our own identity. Every single things from bank accounts to PAN Card, insurance policies to mobile number are linked to this. Also we required Aadhar for all this and much more now. When obtaining an Aadhar card, individuals must provide their retinal and fingerprint scan data to the government. This biometric data can be utilised for verification when availing other services. Since, this has all our information and other details, it should always be safe as it is an critical identity tool.

Many of you might not be knowing this, but you can lock or seal your biometric data. Incase many of you might not be knowing that biometrics is the fingerprint and iris data used for authentication of Aadhaar card. Aadhaar Biometric Locking System enables residents to lock and temporarily unlock their biometrics. Once resident enables Biometric Locking system their Biometric remains locked till the Aadhaar holder wants it to.
As per UIDAI (the nodal agency for Aadhaar authentication), "Locked Biometrics ensures the Aadhaar holder will not be able to use their Biometrics (fingerprints/iris) for authentications thus preventing potential misuse." UIDAI allows Aadhaar card holders to disable as well as enable their Biometric data on its website.
Individuals can avoid their Aadhar card being mishandled by simply locking their biometric data that is stored on the UIDAI servers. The data can be unlocked whenever required and used for verification before you lock it again. Following is a simple guide to locking or unlocking your biometric data online:

How to enable Aadhar Biometrics Lock:
1. Go to UIDAI website

2. Click on the Lock/Unlock Biometrics under the Aadhar Services section

3. Under the 'Lock your Biometrics' section, enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number and the security code in the specified fields.

4. An OTP or One-Time Password for Login will be sent to your registered mobile number, according to the UIDAI website.

5. Enter the OTP received on your registered mobile number in the respective field and click 'Login'. "Registered Mobile Number is essential to avail this service.
Note: In case your mobile number is not registered with Aadhaar visit the nearest Enrollment Center/Mobile Update End Point," the UIDAI said separately on its website.

6. Once logged in, enter the security code once again and click on 'Enable'. Your biometrics will now be locked. "You would not be able to use Aadhaar-based biometric authentication for any service unless you 'Unlock' your biometrics," the UIDAI portal added.

7. At the end of the process of enabling the lock, the UIDAI online tool displays the message: "Congratulation! Your Biometrics is locked. You will not be able to authenticate by using your fingerprint or iris. You can unlock biometrics temporarily for any authentication requirements. You can also disable the Locked Biometrics But before that you will be required to login using your Aadhaar."

How to disable Aadhaar Biometric Lock:
1. For unlocking your biometrics, first login using the OTP-based method explained earlier.

2. Once logged in, enter the security code and then click on 'Disable' button on the next page to disable the biometric lock, according to the UIDAI website.

Note: Once the lock is enabled, the user can either unlock it (which is temporary) or disable the Locking System. Users of the biometrics locking system are cautioned to use this facility with care to prevent denial of Authentication services, the UIDAI added.

After you lock your biometrics, you will not be able to complete any biometric-based authentication. But what it also does is that it secures your biometric information from potential misuse.

If you have locked your biometrics and want to authenticate an Aadhaar-based KYC, you can unlock your biometrics through the same process that is described above. If you have locked your biometrics on Aadhaar, you will get options to either unlock or disable the lock after login.
 - The unlock option results in temporarily unlocking the biometrics, which leaves it usable for a period of 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, it will automatically get locked again. 

Even if you have locked your biometrics, you can still continue to use Aadhaar-based authentication using the OTP-based authentication procedures. You will continue to receive OTPs on your registered mobile number or email address even when the biometrics are locked.


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