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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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

8932 - Aadhaar card use can’t be stopped, it is backed by the IT Act 2000 - Financial Express



Aadhaar card use can’t be stopped, it is backed by the IT Act 2000



 Officials who have designed the blueprint for utilisation of Aadhaar card say that the Narendra Modi government should have forcefully stated that Aadhaar usage is compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000 in the Supreme Court.

While the Modi government is grappling with the confusion over Aadhaar card utilisation in as many areas as possible with the issue being referred to a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court (SC), those aware of the fine print are of the view that since its use is backed by the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, there is no reason to worry or stop the ongoing work related with the Aadhaar card utilisation in any area.

“Even if you leave out the biometrics part for the time being till the case is pending in the Supreme Court, electronic Aadhaar number and card is a legally valid document and the same is the case with e-KYC,” said an official who has taken part in the development of Aadhaar model.

The electronic know your customer (e-KYC) service provided by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is paperless, instant, secure and non-repudiable and the government expects it to enhance business efficiency and resident convenience across sectors where proof of identity and address has to be established, he added.

According to the UIDAI: “Using the e-KYC service, the residents can authorise UIDAI to release their KYC data to a service provider, either in person (through biometric authentication), or online (through OTP authentication). In real-time, upon successful authentication of the resident, the UIDAI will provide the name of the resident, address, date of birth, gender, and photograph to the service provider”.

The official said the best part is that all this is compliant with the law, and this is what the government needed to tell the Supreme Court rather than harping on the privacy issue, and added that while the passage of the UIDAI Bill to give Aadhaar a statutory status is the ultimate solution, its use even now is legally valid, so it can’t be stopped.

This is how Aadhaar card use is compliant with the IT Act, 2000:
The data provided to the service provider is fully in compliance with the Act.
1.    The e-KYC electronic record provided by UIDAI is equivalent to the Aadhaar letter (Section 4 of the IT Act, 2000);
2.    A cryptographic hash of the KYC data is computed and attached. The SHA-2 digital hash function algorithm is used. Hashing ensures that any tampering of the data in transit is detected (Section 3 of the IT Act, 2000);
3.    The KYC data along with the computed hash are encrypted using a combination of AES-256 symmetric key and RSA-2048 PKI encryption form a secure electronic record. The encryption ensures that only the intended service provider can view the data provided by UIDAI (Section 14 of the IT Act, 2000); and
4.    The encrypted data and hash are digitally signed by UIDAI using RSA-2048 PKI. The secure digital signature of UIDAI can be verified by the service provider to ensure the authenticity of the source (Section 15 of the IT Act, 2000).


According to the official, the e-KYC service is also compliant with the latest standards notified in the Information Technology (Certifying Authorities), Amendment Rules 2011.

Clearly, this could be a big support for the government in dealing with the setback due to the decision of the three-judge bench of the SC led by Justice J Chelameswar to not make its August 11 order less stringent – which restricted its use to public distribution system and LPG subsidy – till a Constitution Bench considers the legal issue relating to the right to privacy in collection of biometric data for Aadhaar cards.

The government and other agencies can go ahead and use Aadhaar on a voluntary basis till the final decision in the case comes in the SC so that more than 92 crore people having Aadhaar are not denied its benefits.


First Published on October 14, 2015 10:28 am