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


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.


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Friday, October 9, 2015

8878 - Forget about Aadhaar, look at what Facebook’s doing


Forget about Aadhaar, look at what Facebook’s doing

While the European Court of Justice has just delivered a verdict on privacy that should cheer the hearts of the anti-Aadhaar brigade – it has scrapped the ‘Safe Harbor Agreement’ between the US and EU – the origins of the case should chill them.
By: Sarthak Ray | New Delhi | October 8, 2015 7:08 PM

All those worried about the possible invasion of their privacy under Aadhaar would do well to keep in mind social media sites like Facebook – India has 11 crore users of Facebook – or Google for that matter, have a lot more information about them, where they hang out, their likes, dislikes, and the lot.

While the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has just delivered a verdict on privacy that should cheer the hearts of the anti-Aadhaar brigade – it has scrapped the ‘Safe Harbor Agreement’ between the US and EU – the origins of the case should chill them. The case stems from an Austrian law student, Maximilian (Max) Schrems experience with Facebook in 2011 – when Max asked Facebook for the data it had on him, to his horror he was given 1,200 pages of data including certain bits he had deleted!
So all those worried about the possible invasion of their privacy under Aadhaar would do well to keep in mind social media sites like Facebook – India has 11 crore users of Facebook – or Google for that matter, have a lot more information about them, where they hang out, their likes, dislikes, and the lot. While this is not to say India should not have a privacy law, keep in mind Aadhaar officials aver their database is not an invasion of privacy since it cannot be queried on any transaction details of users, it merely authenticates biometrics on request. Hopefully, this will be proved to the Supreme Court which will be hearing the matter soon.

Max heard an official of the Facebook legal team speak about Facebook’s compliance with EU privacy laws as tenable under the UE-EU ‘Safe Harbor Agreement’. Convinced that ‘Safe Harbor’ allowed the social media giant to circumvent EU’s much stricter data protection laws, Schrems asked the company to submit all the data it held about him (he remains a Facebook user to date, as also having a Twitter presence) in 2011.
Schrems then approached Ireland’s data regulator, the Irish Data Commissioner — Facebook’s European headquarters are in Dublin — to get Facebook to stop sending data to the US, saying that the country did not provide sufficient safeguards for user data; he based this inference on the Edward Snowden leaks on the NSA’s Prism programme that allowed the surveillance agency to directly access information from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and other digital companies. But the case was thrown out by the data regulator as “frivolous and vexatious”, in the backdrop of the Safe Harbor agreement. Upon appeal in the European Court of Justice, however, Schrems’ argument was upheld. Europe’s highest court also found the Safe Harbor framework itself to be in violation of the Union’s and some member countries’ strict privacy laws. As per the agreement, US firms listed under the Safe Harbor framework could transfer EU citizens’ data to the US — while remaining consistent with the EU Data Protection Directive — by providing a self-certification to the US department of commerce that they are compliant with the EU privacy protection standards. The enforcement of the certification was left with the US Federal Trade Commission.

Essentially, the agreement set a US watchdog to check if American tech companies were sticking to European laws on privacy with respect to EU users. Safe Harbor-listed firms (including those tagged “not current” or no longer assured the benefits of Safe Harbor) include the usual suspects like Facebook, Google, Twitter and other firms handling sensitive information like 67 accounting firms (including the likes of Grant Thornton), 242 financial services firms and 60 insurance firms (including MetLife, Inc and all its US subsidiaries listed as a single party). There are 5,479 US firms, spanning industries from advertising services to defence equipment, lawn and garden equipment to veterinary equipment and supplies in this list.


First Published on October 08, 2015 7:08 pm