uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty” and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” - Edward Snowden

Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


Monday, November 20, 2017

12397 - The Aadhaar Dystopia - Deccan Herald

DH News Service Bengaluru Nov 17 2017, 0:25 IST

The  government has unjustifiably taken its fixation with Aadhaar to one more important area of people's lives. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) last week announced that insurance policies had to be mandatorily linked to Aadhaar. This is unfair and has no good reason, and will not give any particular advantage to insurers or the government. Nor will it help policy-holders. It will certainly be another hassle for them and will again raise issues of privacy as in many other areas where the government is extending the reach of Aadhaar. The IRDA had announced two months ago that the linkage is voluntary but has suddenly shifted its position. It has now instructed all insurers to comply with the new norms.  
The argument for linking Aadhaar with insurance policies is not convincing. An insurance policy is a contract and introducing a new condition into the contract unilaterally is not right and might even be challenged legally. If there was no Aadhaar requirement at the time of buying a policy, it is wrong to introduce it later. India's major insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), and other insurers have worked efficiently without Aadhaar. Unlike in some areas of financial transactions like real estate, there is no scope for tax evasion in insurance as all transactions are recorded and payouts are made into bank accounts. If the government wants to investigate individuals for tax evasion or other financial malfeasance there are investigative agencies to do so. Aadhaar will in no way increase the genuineness or traceability of the transactions nor the operational efficiency of the insurers. Since the decision has come into immediate effect, payment of premiums or claims may not be allowed without Aadhaar linkage. This will cause inconvenience and difficulties in many cases.  

The legal and constitutional validity of Aadhaar is still not clear. The Supreme Court is yet to give its decision on it and has told the government it can be mandatory only for the delivery of essential services. But the government couldn't care less.  It wants to peek into every aspect of the lives of the entire population by linking Aadhaar to everything in order to identify suspected tax evasion by a few. The linkage with insurance policies is one more example of this attitude. Under UPA, Aadhaar was meant to give an identity document to millions of the poorest of poor Indians who could not obtain any other document, to enable them to open bank accounts and obtain subsidy payments directly into those accounts. It was meant to take corruption out of welfare programmes. Under Narendra Modi, it has become the Aadhaar for a dystopian surveillance state.    

12396 - Union minister KJ Alphons hits out at Aadhaar critics, says people more willing to share details with foreign nations - First Post

IndiaPTINov, 15 2017 22:29:31 IST

New Delhi: Taking on critics of biometric identifier Aadhaar, Minister of State for IT KJ Alphons Kannanthanam on Wednesday said people have no problem in giving out details to foreign nations like US while applying for visa but call it a violation of privacy when asked to give simple details for Aadhaar.

File image of Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam. PTI

The government, he said, is making payments to Aadhaar-linked beneficiaries of different schemes to prevent frauds and diversion of funds to unintended people.

File image of Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam. PTI
Giving his own example, he said when filling for US visa, he had to fill a 10-page form that sought information starting from grandparents to when he got married and which countries has he travelled so far.

He said details were on what he talks on Facebook or WhatsApp, information on countries visited in last 10 years is asked and given.

"We have absolutely no problem in giving it to the Americans, to the British, to the Europeans to every country of the world.
"(But) when the government of India asks you very simple thing in your Aadhaar (like) gives your name, your date of birth, your address... you have a huge problem. Some people think it is compromising on privacy and security," he said at first open session of APCERT being held in India.
For visa, biometrics, iris and fingerprints are asked, he said adding the same is also given at airports.
"Then why there is huge scare (in giving the same) when your own country which looks after you, protects you, gives you all the benefits. Why is that you have this scare not with visa and others. I don't understand," he said.
Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar at the event said that he sees inner conflict in stance of people who are raising privacy issues around Aadhaar but advocate for Right to Information.
"No poor is talking against Aadhaar. A poor will not be bereft of food if he is not having Aadhaar. However, I definitely see that those who oppose Aadhaar, many of them are those who support RTI," Prasad said.
He said that RTI gives a person right to know everything and the right should be respected.
"The same people say that their privacy should be honoured. On one side they are talking about RTI and on the other side talking about privacy, according to me it has huge inner conflict," Prasad said.
He said that Aadhaar is absolutely safe and secure and it has helped poor a lot.
Prasad said government is seriously looking at all aspect of data security and give preference to those firms in government procurement that develops cyber security product indigenously.
Talking about cyber security, Prasad announced that government of India will promote good PhD research in cyber security of intending students from the country of Asia-Pacific and fund them.
The minister said Ministry of Electronics and IT is working with the Data Security Council of India to fund research of start-up with grant of Rs 5 crore for indigenously developing cyber security solution.


Published Date: Nov 15, 2017 10:27 pm | Updated Date: Nov 15, 2017 10:29 pm










"We have absolutely no problem in giving it to the Americans, to the British, to the Europeans to every country of the world.
"(But) when the government of India asks you very simple thing in your Aadhaar (like) gives your name, your date of birth, your address... you have a huge problem. Some people think it is compromising on privacy and security," he said at first open session of APCERT being held in India.
For visa, biometrics, iris and fingerprints are asked, he said adding the same is also given at airports.
"Then why there is huge scare (in giving the same) when your own country which looks after you, protects you, gives you all the benefits. Why is that you have this scare not with visa and others. I don't understand," he said.
Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar at the event said that he sees inner conflict in stance of people who are raising privacy issues around Aadhaar but advocate for Right to Information.
"No poor is talking against Aadhaar. A poor will not be bereft of food if he is not having Aadhaar. However, I definitely see that those who oppose Aadhaar, many of them are those who support RTI," Prasad said.
He said that RTI gives a person right to know everything and the right should be respected.
"The same people say that their privacy should be honoured. On one side they are talking about RTI and on the other side talking about privacy, according to me it has huge inner conflict," Prasad said.
He said that Aadhaar is absolutely safe and secure and it has helped poor a lot.
Prasad said government is seriously looking at all aspect of data security and give preference to those firms in government procurement that develops cyber security product indigenously.
Talking about cyber security, Prasad announced that government of India will promote good PhD research in cyber security of intending students from the country of Asia-Pacific and fund them.
The minister said Ministry of Electronics and IT is working with the Data Security Council of India to fund research of start-up with grant of Rs 5 crore for indigenously developing cyber security solution.



Published Date: Nov 15, 2017 10:27 pm | Updated Date: Nov 15, 2017 10:29 pm

12395 - India’s education system needs to be far better than it is today: Bill Gates - TNN



TNN | Updated: Nov 17, 2017, 08:07 IST

HIGHLIGHTS
  • On factors holding India back, Gates said, "My biggest disappointment is the education system. I do want to create higher expectations about it.”
  • On Swachh Bharat, he said “Building toilets is like opening savings a/cs. The real challenge is getting people to use them.”
  • On Aadhaar privacy issue: It's just a 12-digit lie-detector system. Privacy issues can come up with the apps that get built on top of it, Gates said.
TOI Guest Editor Bill Gates , who was the world's richest man for almost two decades and is still its foremost philanthropist, talks about public health, technology and ideas that could change the world 

He may have recently been replaced as the world's richest man by Jeff Bezos+ , but meeting Bill Gates is still an immensely enriching experience. 

The famed intellect is as rapier-sharp as ever, and his eyes light up with an endearing nerdish delight as he passionately holds forth on potentially life-changing ideas. He remains intensely focused and driven, but also exhibits an unexpectedly impish sense of humour. 

There are many legendary tales of unprepared Microsoft employees being subjected to severe tongue lashings by an acerbic Gates when he ran the software giant. So, it was with a degree of anxiety that senior editors of The Times of India assembled on Thursday to show Gates the articles that had been commissioned by him earlier when he agreed to serve as TOI Guest Editor. Gates went through the articles very carefully, and there was an audible exhalation of relief when he pronounced himself satisfied. "I'm glad you've got the bit about the new three-drug combination being used to treat elephantiasis," he said. 

"The two-drug combination requires five rounds and reduces the disease by 60-80% whereas the new three-drug combination has been shown to reduce microfilariae by 99% with the first dose itself. The triple-drug therapy is one of the most exciting things in the world of global health. India is one of the first places where we are going to go big on it. All three drugs are donated...so the donor money and government money all goes towards paying workers to go out there and distribute the drugs and then double check the quality of those campaigns. We are taking a lot of help from people doing the polio programme, because they have got such great results." 

Since he devotes so much time to India, does he feel that there are any specific factors holding the country back? "Most trends are positive, but my biggest disappointment when it comes to India is the education system. It should be far better. I don't want to be critical, but I do want to create higher expectations about it." 

Would the Gates Foundation+ consider expanding beyond health into education? "We can't do everything. Most of India's own philanthropists have picked education as a high priority and I'm very glad about that," he said emphatically. 


Bill Gates is known to take an active interest in sanitation, so what does he think of the Swachh Bharat programme+ ? "Well, building toilets is like opening savings accounts. The real challenge is getting people to use them," he quipped. "Part of our Swachh Bharat partnership with the government is to try and make sure that the toilets that are built are not so bad that you'd rather not use them. The first stage is behaviour change. In some parts of India, it's worked really well, in some parts not as well. Once a village passes the view that nobody should be doing this (open defecation), then it tends to stay. The nice thing is that if you intervene for just a few years then sometimes it becomes the expectation. So that's behaviour change and a lot of donors are doing that now." 

He paused to issue a warning that his response was about to get quite graphic. Assured that this was not a problem, he cheerfully plunged right in. "Now, what do you do about faecal waste? It either just builds up, so that the toilet becomes unusable, or you can have a truck come and get it. But then they just go and dump it into the river or somewhere. But five years from now, we are going to have a new toilet which actually, essentially burns the waste in the toilet. That's the dream, to re-invent the toilet. 


Right now, the same pipes that take out water also take out sewage, and the Ganga is Exhibit A of what happens as a result. If you had to build pipes that bring water in and sewage out in all the cities of India, it's never going to happen, because of the sheer cost involved. So we need to invent a toilet that is cheap, doesn't stink, and is as good as a flush toilet — that burns locally with no piping...In the next two or three years, we will have pilot units that are in the thousands, but to make a difference on this you have to be in the tens of millions. The trick is, it has to be dry enough to burn, and then you're left with water, which you can boil. The dry matter gives you energy but you have to use that energy very efficiently to be able to boil the wet part." 

But how does one achieve the separation of, er, the wet and dry parts, we asked. "You use a mix of chemicals and mechanical engineering to separate them," he explained patiently. "So you can have a pump and force the dry part through, and dewater it quite mechanically. Sanitation is highly variable in terms of how wet or dry it is...At the shared toilet level, we already have some good solutions, but we need to take them down to the individual level, and hopefully we'll get them in place in five years." 


We couldn't resist asking him about a project he's invested in, which converts human excreta into potable water. He recently drank a glass of water that was produced as a result. How was the experience? "It was as clean as the specification for US drinking water," he replied. "There's a large-scale processing machine that costs about $200,000, which is about a factor of ten cheaper than it has been in the past. It boils the water twice, and runs it through filters, so it's perfectly safe to drink. Today, brown water is mostly used to water lawns, but sometimes that can backfire because in some parts of the US, they were watering lettuce with it and that caused some infections." 

Since technology has been such a large part of his life, we asked him what he thought of Aadhaar and privacy concerns. "I haven't read the recent Supreme Court judgement but if you ask me, should there be a right to privacy, the answer is yes, of course. At the same time, I don't think Aadhaar itself intrudes on privacy. Aadhaar is just a 12-digit lie detector. You may claim to be someone and Aadhaar can tell if you're speaking the truth or lying. Yes, there are many applications linked to Aadhaar and there are records related to them. Privacy issues can come up with the applications that get built on top of Aadhaar. But none of the records reside on the Aadhaar system itself. The irony is that I often tell Nandan (Nilekani) that if I had built Aadhaar, I would have created it with many more inbuilt capabilities, but Nandan was very careful about not intruding on privacy." 

'Satya is a very zen person... in that respect, he's better than I was' 

Satya Nadella, only the third CEO in Microsoft's 42-year history, had been TOI Guest Editor barely a fortnight ago. What were his impressions of Nadella, we asked Gates (62), who stepped down as the first CEO in 2000 (he still serves as a board member and technology adviser).

"I still care very deeply about Microsoft and devote about 15% of my time to it. Satya is very good at extracting the maximum value from my time and making sure I look at all the important things. He's very thoughtful, good at working with people, working through problems in a calm sort of way. He's a very Zen person — in that respect, he is better than I was. I was too emotional about something not going too well."

Gates once famously remarked that in his youth, he probably overvalued intelligence. What did he mean by that? "See, there's the kind of intelligence where I give you a 500-page book on, say, geography and you memorise it and tell me everything I need to know about weather systems.

TOP COMMENT
We all know our education system sucks. If Kejriwal went to IIT then god bless us.
Harpreet Singh

When I was younger, I thought that was all you needed. If you understand physics, how hard can it be to run a team? The idea that some skills, like managing people, are not correlated with scientific IQ — in fact some of them are negatively correlated to scientific IQ — took me a while to figure out.

It's very rare to have people who can combine these skills. Satya is one of them," signed off Gates. 

12394 - Aadhaar platform is a great enabler: Friedman - Hindu Businessline


N. S. VAGEESH

                              THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

MUMBAI, NOV 17:  
Countering Cassandras who predict that a lot of current jobs will be lost due to the impact of automation and technological changes, Thomas Friedman, award winning author and renowned journalist of the New York Times, urged more faith in human creativity as an antidote to the pessimism that prevails.
He was speaking at the second day of the Tata Literature Live! festival this morning at a panel discussion on the book, ‘Boom Country — The new wave of Indian Entrepreneurs’ by Alan Rosling.

Power of trust
Friedman cited the example of how Airbnb, the online marketplace and hospitality service, which started in 2007 is today bigger than all hotel chains, a development that could not have been foreseen then. He pointed out that travellers are looking not only for houses to stay for short periods of time but also for ‘experiences’.
He drew attention to how Airbnb has allowed a platform for self-driven people to market their services and avail new opportunities. For instance, it has enabled enterprising youngsters to offer night tours in Mumbai. There are others who offer to teach tandoori cooking. In Havana, he said, there is someone who teaches basket ball at night for American tourists and earns a handsome $185 a night.
He said the key element in this was the creation of a platform of ‘trust’. He quoted his teacher who said, “Trust is the only legal performance enhancing drug.”

Aadhaar and opportunities
Friedman praised the Indian Government’s Aadhaar platform and called it the Indian version of Airbnb. He said that it will open up a number of opportunities as many applications can be built on it.

Expressing his optimism, he said that he was “long on India” and “long on Airbnb”. In lighter vein, he added he would pay zero attention to surveys that predicted “47.3% of all current jobs would be lost by 2050!”

Mukund Govindarajan, Chief Ethics Officer and Head of International Operations, Tata Sons, said that building trust, improving education and soft skills and fostering a culture of innovation would be important in addressing the challenge of providing jobs.

While agreeing with a co-panelist on the need to have more women entrepreneurs, he said statistics had shown women entrepreneurs tend to employ more women and therefore widen opportunities for them.

12393 - Moody’s thumbs up for PM Modi’s longer-term reforms; from Aadhaar, DBT, to GST, all will bring structural change - Financial Express


The timing of Moody’s ratings upgrade, the first in 13 years, is ironic since it comes at a time when, while still good, India’s fundamentals don’t look as solid as they did, say, a year ago.

By: Sunil Jain | New Delhi | 
Published: November 17, 2017 2:16 PM
                   Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

The timing of Moody’s ratings upgrade, the first in 13 years, is ironic since it comes at a time when, while still good, India’s fundamentals don’t look as solid as they did, say, a year ago. While the government was hopeful of getting an upgrade at that point, rating agency S&P refused to oblige, and there are doubts as to whether India will be able to accelerate growth fast enough. But even while it is likely the government will slip on its fiscal commitments this year, Moody’s seems to have, rightly, shifted its focus from just traditional deficit- and debt-based indicators and, instead, looked at the big reforms undertaken in the last few years. Indeed, the Moody’s statement says, at 68% of GDP, India’s consolidated fiscal deficit is significantly higher than the Baa median of 44%, and that it expects India’s debt-to-GDP ratio to rise about one percentage point due to the slowing of nominal GDP as well as the implementation of GST. If the rating agency has upped its rating despite this, it is because the various reforms will, over time, change India in a fundamental manner and, once GDP grows faster again, the debt- and deficit numbers will look better.

The Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfers will, for instance, remove the 40-50% leakages associated with India’s generous subsidy programme of around Rs 3 lakh crore every year and the GST will raise the tax-to-GDP ratio since it essentially forces formalization of the economy and, through its input tax credit system, creates a disincentive for dealing with firms that don’t pay taxes. And since it was always clear that the biggest bottleneck as far as growth was concerned was the twin balance sheet problem – both corporate and bank balance sheets were deeply stressed – the government is trying to address this through the insolvency code and bank recapitalization.

The insolvency code is aimed at ensuring banks are able to, finally, recover some part of the over Rs 8.5 lakh crore of loans stuck as NPAs – albeit after a major haircut – while the recapitalization is aimed at restoring the big hole in the banks’ balance sheets; if the recapitalization is not accompanied by sweeping banking reforms, including privatization, it may turn out to be a damp squib, but the government has promised just that. The recap, in fact, can help lower borrowing rates since, as the NPA burden has risen, banks have raised their spreads to finance this.


How the upgrade will play out remains to be seen, as does the question of whether S&P follows Moody’s. There will, of course, be an immediate lowering of bond rates and a movement in the rupee and perhaps a rally in the market, but beyond that, the impact is more of a mood-enhancer and will depend on further reforms in different sectors. While India’s FDI levels have been booming even when the ranking was lower – FY16 FDI was $55bn and FY17 $60bn – allowing FDI in multi-brand retail or easing rules for food-retail will see a big jump, as happened in the case of petroleum when natural gas prices were raised and a path to market-linking was laid out. Given the Pew survey shows prime minister Modi’s appeal has only gone up despite being in government for three years, it would suggest the government has enough scope to implement further reforms should it want to. Getting local investment levels up – gross fixed capital formation has fallen from 34% of GDP in FY13 to 29% in FY17– will require building on what reforms have already been made, especially in areas like labour and onerous government regulations.

12392 - Ghosts of Aadhaar: Modi Govt, UIDAI Fabricated Data on Duplicates, Finds IT Activist - New Click


When the govt’s figures submitted to Supreme Court in September 2015 are compared with a study conducted by UIDAI in August 2014, the claims of Aadhaar weeding out huge number of duplicates do not hold.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been fudging data to show duplicate or “ghost” beneficiaries of welfare schemes, to support the Modi government’s claims about Aadhaar – a fraud evidenced by the agency’s own study.
An IT engineer and activist, Anand Venkatanarayanan, has done some number-crunching to find  that the UIDAI has been making up numbers – apparently, even those presented before the Supreme Court.

The BJP-led NDA government has been pushing Aadhaar on the premise of welfare, making tall claims about how UID is fighting corruption in delivery of schemes and services. Meanwhile, activists have been crying themselves hoarse over how it has caused the most vulnerable sections of the population to be excluded – for example, the 11-year-old girl child who recently starved to death in Jharkhand.

The claim is that Aadhaar-based biometric authentication for delivery of services has weeded out ghost  beneficiaries – people who enrol multiple times with any welfare scheme and loot the government exchequer – and resulted in huge savings for the government. Even the World Bank recently, baselessly claimed that the UID project could save India nearly $11 billion.

“Savings” at the cost of the many millions who are denied their entitlements – a fact that the UIDAI’s own data regarding biometric mismatches and failures stand testimony to.

As Venkatanarayanan found, the Modi government appears to have lied before the Supreme Court in September 2015.
The NDA government submitted figures about ‘de-duplication’ – the detection and elimination of duplicate identities enrolled in welfare schemes – to the apex court. It claimed that over a quarter of the beneficiaries of the Public Distribution System and pensions were found to be duplicate.

Venkatanarayanan compared the data for three welfare schemes in the government affidavit to the SC in September 2015 with the figures of the UIDAI’s own study conducted in August 2014. The study had earlier been published by UIDAI on their website and he had archived it, given that it could be taken down at any point.

He looked at figures for three welfare schemes – PDS, pensions, and scholarships. 

Duplicate beneficiaries in any scheme can only be found once the UID number is seeded – the process whereby the number is linked to any scheme. 

Let us look at what he found. 



In PDS, he looked at Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry and Delhi. And he found that, between August 2014 and September 2015, the number of duplicates were higher than the seeded cards in all these places except for Delhi. 

This is impossible, because there is no way to detect duplicates until and unless they are included in the service delivery database of service providers, after which Aadhaar-based authentication during service delivery.

Therefore, the maximum number of duplicates can only ever be equal to the number of seeded cards. Which means the affidavit is stating the impossible.


In pensions, he analysed the figures for Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Puducherry. Pensions include old age pensions, disability pensions and widow pensions.  
Once again, he found that the duplicates far exceeded the number of seeded accounts. 
For example, going by the SC affidavit data for Chandigarh, there was an addition of 300 seeded accounts but there were 1877 extra duplicates.

“In Puducherry, even after more beneficiaries were added by October 2015, the total number of seeded accounts has fallen, which is also not possible,” writes Venkatanarayanan.

Next, he looked at scholarships – which include SC scholarship, ST scholarship and Minorities scholarship – for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab.

Strangely, he found that seeded accounts had reduced in number from the time of the UIDAI study in August 2014 to the time of SC affidavit in September in both Telangana and Punjab, while there was no data available for Andhra at all in the study. 
Now, it is not possible for seeded accounts to reduce over time, especially given how the government has been strong-arming citizens to get UID and seed them almost everywhere. 
The government has been forcing citizens to get the 12-digit biometrics-linked Unique Identification (UID) number by making it mandatory for availing pretty much all of the schemes and services, despite Supreme Court orders.  

Even the minimal levels of duplications recorded for a few schemes in the UIDAI study do not necessarily represent corruption on the ground.

Venkatanarayanan elaborates on the seeding process. There are two ways seeding is done: organic (when the beneficiary links their own UID number with a scheme), and inorganic (when seeding is done automatically by UIDAI’s seeding viewer tool). 
Both organic and inorganic seeding processes are prone to errors in data, especially the automatic inorganic seeding. An accidental incorrect entry can be flagged as a duplicate.
Duplicates detected through seeding can be considered only as “potential duplicates”, as he says, and physical verification is required to ascertain if they are duplicate or genuine beneficiaries. And confirmed duplicates are usually far lower than suspected duplicates.

In fact, the UIDAI study highlights how big the proportion of mismatches was across different kinds of schemes in August 2014. The percentage of mismatches and invalid numbers, as he terms it, is “staggering” – reaching up to 35% in the old age pension scheme, for example. Even in August 2014, the mismatches were quite high both for PDS and pensions, hovering around a quarter. 

All the noise about exorcising ghosts, he says, “distracts citizens from the fact that the Aadhaar project is truly broken in both concept and implementation, and causes massive exclusion in welfare deliver.”

The author then goes on to list some of the ways, which have also been reported, in which data entry errors have been causing exclusions:
  1. Invalid Aadhar numbers linked with ration cards cause exclusion.
  2. Wrongly linked Aadhaar numbers to get 100% seeding cause exclusion.
  3. Name mismatches in Provident Fund will prevent beneficiary from withdrawal.
Had the UIDAI put its own study in the SC affidavit, he says, it would have “proved conclusively that there exists neither an economic nor a welfare justification for the Aadhaar project in welfare delivery”. 

12391 - Playing safe: SIM-Aadhaar linking to be fully automated - Economic Times

By Aman Sharma, ET Bureau|
Nov 17, 2017, 06.57 AM IST

Now, there are two ways of verifying one’s SIM to Aadhaar that have been approved by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Related
People will need to go to the websites of telecom service providers (TSPs) or call up their phone helplines for getting a onetime password (OTP) to link their SIM to Aadhaar from December 1, in a process that will be totally automated and without any human intervention. 

These two ways of verifying one’s SIM to Aadhaar have been approved by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) now. Earlier, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had proposed that citizens could also do the linking through OTP on sending as SMS to a number provided by the telecom operator but UIDAI did not find the same “safe”, and has proposed that the linking must be done by generating an OTP either by logging onto the TSP’s website or placing a call to the latter’s phone helpline, a senior government official told ET. Also, one needs to have a mobile number registered with Aadhaar to go through either of the two processes – or you will need to first visit an Aadhaar Centre to update your mobile number in Aadhaar records. 

On the web portal, a resident will first enter the mobile number which he needs to re-verify. The TSP will generate an OTP on the entered mobile number which the person will enter on the website. “This will confirm that the mobile to be re-verified is available with the resident,” as per UIDAI. A consent message, as per Aadhaar Act, will be displayed on the website and resident will enter his Aadhaar number after checking the consent box. 

The TSP will generate an OTP request to UIDAI and the resident will then get an OTP on the number he already has registered with Aadhaar, which he will enter to re-verify his SIM with Aadhaar. Aadhaar number entered on TSP’s website will be masked and encrypted during transmission to UIDAI. The process will be similar if a person calls up the TSP’s IVR helpline from the number he wishes to re-verify. The IVR will play a consent message to him before a person enters his Aadhaar number and then receives an OTP on his Aadhaar registered mobile number. He will subsequently enter this OTP on the IVR. 

“The IVR language should be in English, Hindi and other regional languages of the respective states/circles,” UIDAI has said. TSPs have been asked to ensure the security of voice channels, keep the process completely automated, ensure the security provided is at par with security of banking transactions through IVR and also make sure that the application that interacts with the IVR masks or encrypts the Aadhaar number as soon as it is received by the application, for ensuring robust security and secrecy of Aadhaar number. 

“TSPs will ensure that Aadhaar number is not accessible the operator’s customer relationship executives,” UIDAI has said. 


Regarding the website, operators have been asked to ensure the same is secure against known cyber-attacks and are secured through certificates. “TSP’s must ensure that they have Service Engine Optimisation services for their websites and their sites feature on top during Google searches. If TSPs can provide these services through a user name and password authentication which may already exist on their websites for customers, this will further enhance the security,” the UIDAI has said.

12390 - Aadhaar Articles Dated 17th Nov 2017



Economic Times
These two ways of verifying one's SIM to Aadhaar have been approved by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) now. Earlier, the Department ...



Economic Times
How to link mobile number to Aadhaar. ET Bureau|. Updated: Nov 17, 2017, 09.27 AM IST. 0Comments. OTP request is sent to UIDAI if there is ...






Firstpost
Singapore: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said three key structural reforms – Aadhaar, Demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax, have enhanced ...



Hindu Business Line
Countering Cassandras who predict that a lot of current jobs will be lost due to the impact of automation and technological changes, Thomas Friedman ...






NDTV
Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (UPMSP) has made Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing in annual board exams scheduled ...






The Quint
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is on a visit to India, said that he did not think that Aadhaar by “itself intruded on privacy”. He called the instrument a ...



Pune Mirror
Mumbai: The residents of Maharashtra and Goa would be able to enrol for Aadhaar cards at over 1,200 post offices in the two states from next year, ...






Firstpost
New Delhi: Taking on critics of biometric identifier Aadhaar, Minister of State for IT KJ Alphons Kannanthanam on Wednesday said people have no ...






Times of India
"If given a go ahead, it will enable individuals to go for Aadhaar linked e-registration of property documents from home with the help of a web cam and ...






SikhSiyasat.Net
Bareilly, UP: A Woman in Bareilly in the state of Uttar Pradesh of India, died due to starvation as she was denied food ration since it was not linked to ...




Firstpost
All these schemes are digitalised and possessing both the Bhamashah and Aadhaar cards are pre-requisites to join up in the NFSA, the health ...





Nagaland Post
Meanwhile, enrolment process is going on smoothly in all the districts and in view of the importance of aadhaar number, the State government is also ...



Scroll.in
She worries that if she submits her Aadhaar number to the antiretroviral therapy ... This linking of Aadhaar with HIV patient identity cards has been very ...






Gizbot
A few months back, the Indian government announced that the linking of your Aadhaar card to your mobile number is mandatory. Earlier, there were ...



The Shillong Times
In a statement to the media, the organisations alleged that Aadhaar is an invasion of the citizens' privacy protected by the right to privacy as implicit in ...






NewsBytes
The IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) recently announced that linking Aadhaar to insurance policies, both general ...






Deccan Herald
The government has unjustifiably taken its fixation with Aadhaar to one more important area of people's lives. The Insurance Regulatory and ...






Telangana Today
However, with Aadhaar being made mandatory, they have now turned to other digital modes of transaction, primarly e-Wallets. Unlike bank accounts ...






Chandigarh Metro (blog)
All the banks are linking the accounts of their customers with their Aadhaar numbers issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to ...






Bureaucracy Today
Haryana Chief Secretary, D.S Dhesi while speaking as a Chief Guest in the 142nd State Level Bankers's Committee Meeting said that the objective of ...






Moneycontrol.com
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to digitize the Indian economy has seen the introduction of Aadhaar — a unique identification number based on ...






The Tribune
The Aadhaar seeding of 97.3 per cent of the beneficiaries under the scheme has been completed. Now, they will have to provide their Aadhaar ...






India TV
He dwelt on how Aadhaar revolution coupled with financial inclusion and its potential applications in transferring of pension, scholarship and ...






YourStory.com
With digitised finance via cellphones and Aadhaar, more accounts can be opened paperlessly and instantly. This would allow a giant mass of ...

Friday, November 17, 2017

12389 - Now Your Residence And Office Addresses Will Be Recorded Like Fingerprints And Iris In Aadhaar - India Times


PANKAJ DOVAL NOVEMBER 16, 2017


After Aadhaar card has done your individual identification through fingerprint and iris, the government now is planning to take it further by mapping the addresses of your residence and workplace.

             REUTERS/REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

The department of posts - which is under the ministry of communications — has ordered a pilot project that will accord a six-character alphanumeric digital address for every property for three postal pin code locations.

The idea is to provide e-locations (like on Google Maps) for the addresses therein and then provide possibilities to link them to other information, such as property title and ownership, property tax records, information on utilities like electricity, water and gas.

The eLoc (e-location) pilot project has been approved for two postal pin codes in Delhi and one in Noida, following which the plan is to identify national expansion plans. The digital identity — say, UV77D7 — will be an e-enabled address that can be used parallelly to the existing postal address.

Private mapping company MapmyIndia will be carrying out the project for the postal department.

BCCL/REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE

"The results of the proof of concept may be utilised by the department towards developing a digital address format that would suit the purpose for a national-level project rollout," says a letter signed by additional director-general (mail operations) Abhishek Kumar Singh and sent to MapmyIndia on September 27.

MapmyIndia MD Rakesh Verma said the e-linkage would make it easier to identify complex addresses while providing an opportunity to link them to other amenities and services.
"eLoc will help travellers and commuters search, share and navigate to a destination's exact doorstep far more easily and quickly. It will also reduce time, money, fuel wastage and expenses for businesses in the e-commerce, transportation, logistics and field operations domains," said Verma.

Pilot project to evaluate digital addresses' effectiveness: DoP
Currently, a large number of addresses in the country are difficult to comprehend when read digitally. "For example, an address such as 147, Pocket XX, 2A, Janakpuri can be easily identified online by a digital address such as 8GDTYX. This can be further linked with other associated amenities such as property tax and ownership details, civic amenities etc," an official of the company said.


12388 - No ‘Adhaar’ for one’s views! - Deccan Chronicle

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published
Nov 16, 2017, 12:37 am IST

Banks and cellphone operators continue to harass their customers by asking them to link their accounts.

When your bank or telecom operator starts pestering you with phone calls and messages, do you really have to give in and link your Aadhaar card? The dilemma and chaos continue to linger around the corner and the question on whether furnishing your Aadhaar is mandatory or not continues to be a cliff-hanger for many.

While the Supreme Court is yet to give its final verdict on making the Aadhaar mandatory, the frequent and threatening nature of SMS and calls from telecom operators for the re-verification process of Aadhaar cards has got accelerated from last month, and is now turning out to be an unnerving affair for one and all.

As for Nandana Prem, who is currently doing her bachelor’s degree in English literature, the idea of linking Aadhaar in itself is nothing less than scary.

“First, it questions one’s Right to Privacy. I can’t comprehend the necessity to link my very personal as well crucial data to Aadhaar where my data can easily be accessed by a third party, in this case, a private firm or a telecom company. The real politics behind such a practice is something to ponder up on. But most of all, having my mobile or bank details linked to Aadhaar sounds really scary,’’ she said. The prospect of linking Aadhaar to mobile phones is now turning out to be the bane of every average Indian and a lack of legal awareness drives many to simply give in and submit their Aadhaar details.

“I kept on getting calls and messages from the mobile company and I used to get so pissed off. Finally, I linked my Aadhaar as I thought I was bound to do that legally. After all, I thought it’s just a two minute affair, and I can easily do it online and do away with these pestering calls and headaches once and for all, said Arpit Bansal who is working as key accounts manager at a multinational firm. Even as ‘Project Aadhaar’ has been an affair of coercion, compulsion and rampant illegality from the beginning, the question is how can this darkness be dispelled?

According to Advocate Akhila Kumari, linking Aadhaar is a matter of violation of personal liberty and trespassing one’s privacy. “When banks and mobile companies are pushing you, you have all the right to say a big, loud NO back to them. It is clearly illegal on the part of mobile companies to force you to link your Aadhaar while the case is still under the consideration of the Supreme Court. The basic problem is that the layman is not legally aware of these facts and they link their Aadhaar to avoid any sort of problems in the future,’’ said Advocate Akhila.

12387 - Aadhaar: House panel to study privacy concerns - Tribune India

Posted at: Nov 16, 2017, 1:21 AM; last updated: Nov 16, 2017, 1:21 AM (IST)


Tribune News Service
New Delhi, Novmeber 15

At a time when a debate is raging on issues relating to security and privacy as regards Aaadhar data, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home under the chairmanship of former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has decided to take it up for detailed scrutiny.

While the UPA government introduced Aadhaar as a unique identification number for citizens, the BJP-led government has been asking people to link it with various financial transaction enablers, including bank accounts, PAN number, credit cards etc. This has also been made mandatory for availing subsidies under various government schemes.

As on Wednesday, the Unique Identification Authority of India said, 118.79 crore persons had enrolled for Aadhaar. There have been sporadic reports about data leakage leading to concerns of privacy and fear that the data could be misused by unscrupulous elements.

A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had ruled that privacy is a fundamental right. However, individual cases challenging Aadhaar are expected to come up for hearing this month.

At its recent meeting, the standing committee finalised a list of subject it would take up for detailed examination.

These included security situation in the North-East; terrorism and Naxalism; communal harmony; atrocities on weaker sections (Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes, Women etc.); modernisation of police forces; administration and development of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry; and disaster management.

12386 - Union minister hits at Aadhaar critics - TNN


PTI | Nov 15, 2017, 21:42 IST

New Delhi, Nov 15 () Taking on critics of biometric identifier Aadhaar, Minister of State for IT KJ Alphons Kannanthanam today said people have no problem in giving out details to foreign nations like US while applying for visa but call it violation of privacy when asked to give simple details for Aadhaar.

The government, he said, is making payments to Aadhaar- linked beneficiaries of different schemes to prevent frauds and diversion of funds to unintended people.

Giving his own example, he said when filling for US visa, he had to fill a 10 page form that sought information starting from grand parents to when he got married and which countries has he travelled so far.

He said details were on what he talks on Facebook or WhatsApp, information on countries visited in last 10 years is asked and given.

"We have absolutely no problem in giving it to the Americans, to the British, to the Europeans to every country of the world.
"(But) when government of India asks you very simple thing in your Aadhaar (like) gives your name, your date of birth, your address... you have a huge problem. Some people think it is compromising on privacy and security," he said at first open session of APCERT being held in India.

For visa, biometrics, iris and fingerprints are asked, he said adding the same is also given at airports.
"Then why there is huge scare (in giving the same) when you own country which looks after you, protects you, gives you all the benefits. Why is that you have this scare not with visa and others. I dont understand," he said.

Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar at the event said that he sees inner conflict in stance of people who are raising privacy issues around Aadhaar but advocate for Right to Information.
"No poor is talking against Aadhaar. A poor will not be bereft of food if he is not having Aadhaar. However, I definitely see that those who oppose Aadhaar, many of them are those who support RTI," Prasad said.
He said that RTI gives a person right to know everything and the right should be respected.
"The same people say that their privacy should be honoured. On one side they are talking about RTI and on the other side talking about privacy, according to me it has huge inner conflict," Prasad said.
He said that Aadhaar is absolutely safe and secure and it has helped poor a lot.
Prasad said government is seriously looking at all aspect of data security and give preference to those firms in government procurement that develops cyber security product indigenously.
Talking about cyber security, Prasad announced that government of India will promote good PhD research in cyber security of intending students from the country of Asia- Pacific and fund them.

The minister said Ministry of Electronics and IT is working with the Data Security Council of India to fund research of start-up with grant of Rs 5 crore for indigenously developing cyber security solution. PRS ANZ MR

12385 - As Aadhaar becomes mandatory to open bank accounts, cyber thugs switch to digital wallets - TNN



Shalabh | TNN | Updated: Nov 16, 2017, 07:41 IST

LUCKNOW: Cyber thugs have started using e-wallets as opening bank accounts is getting difficult without Aadhaar card. The revelation came when a three-member gang was busted by special task force of UP police on Wednesday noon. 

The three arrested from Vibhav Khand, Gomtinagar asked victims to deposit money in Paytm wallet and confessed to interrogators that they were unable to open fresh bank account for carrying out fraudulent activities without providing Aadhaar. Cyber wing of STF pursued complaint it received over email last month. The complainant from sector 24 in Noida had been duped of Rs 3,400 he paid to buy an electronic device. 

The team probing the case found out that Nadeem Haider, Vikas Kumar and Rahul Yadav had managed to get their hands on personal information of 6,000 customers who had shared their details with Snapdeal.

Nodal officer of cyber wing, additional SP Triveni Singh said, "They posed as sales executive of Snapdeal and offered incredible deals to customers. But with a catch. The potential targets were asked to deposit money in Paytm wallets instead of buying the item over Snapdeal. While many turned their offer down, some agreed to deposit money as they felt the fraudsters were really offering some lucrative limited period offer."

The police team was following up with the two e-commerce companies. "While Paytm would share the details of the wallet holders, Snapdeal has initiated internal inquiry to find out how the three were able to possess personal data of customers," said Singh.

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Cyber expert Rakshit Tandon said that cyber thugs have started switching over to e-wallets since maintaining anonymity is very easy. "e-commerce is largely unregulated sector. Security concerns of patrons is not priority for such companies. As biometrics have to be provided to the bank identifying the culprit would get easy," said Tandon highlighting the vulnerability.

An FIR against the three was registered at Vibhuti Khand police station for cheating and forgery and IT Act has also been pressed. The police team has also found details of four savings accounts the three held in different banks to find out how much money they have been able to make. 


12384 - Privacy issues exist even without Aadhaar - Live Mint

There is a critical need for a data privacy regulator to penalize unauthorized disclosure of personal information

The Electriwebsites disclose the personal information of every person registered to vote online. Photo: Indranil Bhoumik/Mint


In part I, I argued that while Aadhaar can be a tool to infringe upon our right to privacy, it is merely one such; there exist other tools that can be similarly exploited. This becomes evident when you analyse each privacy issue related to Aadhaar using the National Privacy Principles framework, and compare Aadhaar’s data privacy risks to other national ID systems. We need an independent data privacy regulator, backed by a robust law, to safeguard against the risks.

Here, we explore two such data privacy issues: data disclosure and voluntariness (database linking was analysed in part I).

Data disclosure
According to the National Privacy Principle on data disclosure, “a data controller shall not disclose personal information to third parties, except after providing notice and seeking informed consent from the individual for such disclosure”.

On paper, the Aadhaar Act appears compliant with this principle as Section 29 prohibits the disclosure of personal information. Exceptions exist for courts to request demographic data, and for joint secretaries and higher ranks to request biometric data; the latter on the grounds of “national security”. However, greater clarity is required on whether individuals will be informed of data disclosures.

In practice, however, data disclosures well beyond these exceptions have taken place. A study by the Centre for Internet and Society found that nearly 130 million Aadhaar numbers had been published online by four government departments. In many cases, these were published along with information on “caste, religion, address, photographs and financial information”. If someone manages to steal these individuals’ fingerprints as well (which is becoming less difficult), one possibility is that Aadhaar-linked bank accounts can be cleaned out using micro-ATMs.
Demographic data disclosure, however, is not limited to Aadhaar. For transparency reasons, state election commission websites disclose the personal information of every person registered to vote online. Agencies scrape these databases and sell them.
Like database linking, the onus of abiding by the principle of data disclosure is on the “data controller”. The four government agencies that disclosed Aadhaar data—not the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)—are the relevant data controllers in this case. However, UIDAI has not pressed charges against them; under the Aadhaar Act, it is solely authorized to do so. Given UIDAI’s role of working with the government to enable and encourage the use of Aadhaar, it should not also be responsible for regulating them. Additionally, the Election Commission’s data disclosure norms demonstrate that the issue is bigger than Aadhaar. 
This, therefore, points to the critical need for a data privacy regulator to investigate and penalize unauthorized disclosure of sensitive personal information. A strong regulator, with a clear law, will also serve as an effective deterrent for negligent disclosure practices.
Voluntariness

The ability to voluntarily opt in and out of data systems, based on informed consent, is central to the National Privacy Principle of “Choice and Consent”. Once an individual opts in, the principle clarifies that they “also have an option to withdraw (their) consent given earlier to the data controller”.
With regard to opting in, UIDAI has maintained that Aadhaar enrolment is voluntary. However, Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act and various orders by government agencies require Aadhaar to access basic services. Though exceptions are allowed, in practice they are implemented inconsistently, making Aadhaar near-mandatory. 
To be sure, the choice principle states that data controllers can choose not to provide services if an individual doesn’t consent to provide data, “if such information is necessary for providing the goods or services”. However, we need more explicit guidelines on what features satisfy this condition, something that can be defined in a data privacy law. 
With regard to opting out, no such UIDAI provision exists. One argument is that more data increases UIDAI’s capability to establish the uniqueness of new enrollees. However, it is unclear why this is the case because even if millions opt out of Aadhaar, UIDAI’s ability to guarantee the uniqueness of new enrollees compared to existing enrollees doesn’t diminish. 
While voluntariness is actively discussed with Aadhaar, the same is not true for other IDs and data initiatives. For example, fingerprints are collected to issue Indian passports, but the use of this is not clear—raising concerns around voluntariness as well as purpose limitation. 
Through this analysis, it becomes clear that data privacy issues exist even without Aadhaar. To tackle the risks to privacy, India requires a strong, competent and independent data privacy regulator, backed by a robust law. 
With the recent Supreme Court judgement and upcoming hearings, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen our institutional ability to manage future risks. We must seize this opportunity to try and secure a privacy-protected future. 
Ronald Abraham is a partner at IDinsight and co-author of ‘State of Aadhaar’ report 2016-17.
Research contributions from Shreya Dubey and Akash Pattanayak.

This is part 2 of a two-part series on Aadhaar and privacy.

First Published: Thu, Nov 16 2017. 04 38 AM IST