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.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

9020 - Audit and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers India roped in to beef up Aadhaar security - Economic Times


By Surabhi Agarwal, ET Bureau | 3 Nov, 2015, 04.36AM IST

NEW DELHI: With concerns related to privacy and security threatening the very existence of the Aadhaar project, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has employed the services of an external agency to carry out periodic audits of Aadhaar's infrastructure as well as that of its partners for any security hazards. 

Audit and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers India has been roped in for building an additional layer of oversight by reviewing the security of the entire ecosystem that includes UIDAI data centres and servers along with that of government departments and private agencies such as banks that are engaging with Aadhaar for authenticating citizen information. 

Sivarama Krishnan, executive director of PwC, said that with a national project of the scale of UID, threats are bound to be manifold. "The right step is to first build the trust in the system and then protect it from all internal as well as external threats," he said. 


Krishnan added that the current mandate will ensure the "extra oversight" and may help in quelling some fears such as those expressed by the judiciary and other privacy activists. 

The Supreme Court had recently restricted the usage of the Aadhaar number to just two government welfare schemes — cooking gas and public distribution system — over concerns of privacy and security of citizen data. The apex court later expanded the usage to four more schemes, including pensions, Jan Dhan Yojana and the national rural employment guarantee scheme, after a clutch of government departments and regulators filed applications in the court to review the order. 

UIDAI director general ABP Pandey told ET that the idea behind getting a professional agency on board is to regularly review if its partners are conforming to the security standard and check for any gaps, which can be brought to UID's notice. "We have always taken a stand that we will ensure that our system remains fully secure and we are taking every step in that direction," he added. 

Pandey said that even though there have been hacking attacks on the UID's infrastructure currently such attacks don't reach its systems. "The way we have designed our technology is that the main data is not stored on any cloud; it is completely isolated. So even if people try to access it, they won't be able to get to the core," he said. 

As a governance, risk, compliance and performance service provider, PwC will monitor agencies that are securing the UID infrastructure along with other third party agencies such as ministries and companies using UIDAI database for verification of data. 

Though Aadhaar has already issued a set of guidelines and standards that need to be complied with while using its applications, "UIDIA doesn't want to take a chance and wants to ensure that it is a zero or least incident organisation", said PwC's Krishnan. 

"Aadhaar is becoming the fulcrum for many government projects and even one or few mistakes can demolish the trust, so an extra oversight is needed," he said. While UIDAI has built its own data centres, most of its other technology is outsourced to HCL Infosystems, which acts as its managed service provider. Aadhaar has so far covered almost 93 crore residents of the country.