Fire opens at UID data centre, 20cr citizens’ data at risk

A massive fire broke out in the lower floors of a Greater Noida building which houses the data centre of the government’s ambitious Unique ID Project. It has put at risk the personal and biometric records of 20 crore Indian residents.

The Unique ID Authority has completed about 20 crore enrollments and has generated over 18 crore. A UID spokesman confirmed that there was a fire in the ‘Knowledge Park’ building at Greater Noida which houses a UID data centre.

The data centre on the third floor is a small subset of the main data centre in Bangalore, said the spokesman.  “Little data was being stored here. Nonetheless, no data is harmed as we have a back up at 3-4 locations across the country,” the spokesman said.

The accident puts a big question mark over safety of data being collected from about 1.2 billion Indian residents and being housed in risk prone facilities.

Last week, the government awarded Rs 87 crore contract to Delhi based Tulip Telecom which will manage data centre for UIDAI in Bangalore for 3 years. The Bangalore based Tulip data centre will house the records of 1.2 billion Indian residents, with a back up in other places.

UIDAI’s main data centre currently exists in Bangalore, at a space leased from Bharti Airtel. It acts as the main storage repository for all biometric and personal records of Indian residents.

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