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.


Friday, November 20, 2015

9061 - Increasing camera surveillance a privacy threat in Hyderabad? - TNN


Bappa Majumdar,TNN | Nov 3, 2015, 03.04 PM IST

HYDERABAD: As city clubs, varsities, hostels and even police stations get ready to go under 24-hour surveillance by CCTVs, there are heightened concerns over the misuse of technology to intrude upon people's privacy. 

With no set guidelines in place to control its working in India, CCTVs can be placed anywhere, ranging from bathrooms to police lock-ups. While CCTVs can definitely protect businesses and provide security to government infrastructure and high risk terror targets, there are risks of cameras being targeted towards people's lawns, ladies hostels and have been misused to blackmail or embarrass people by secretly installing them in change rooms and swimming pools. 

In Hyderabad, the media has been agog with news of all recreational clubs in the city asked to install cameras inside their premises. Following a ban enforced by cops on increasing incidents of gambling inside clubs, a few had moved to high court, saying it tantamount to intrusion of privacy, Justice A.V. Sesha Sai, while allowing the clubs to organize sessions of rummy, a card game of skill, but asked all clubs to install CCTVs and link it with local police stations. While the provisions of the AP Gaming Act, 1974 allows cops to conduct raids on charges of gambling, huge worries have emerged now of how every act by members of the clubs will now be recorded and they would have to live constantly knowing they are being observed by the cops. 

Some members fear that the cops could use this powerful tool to haul clubs over one trifle issue or the other. 

It's not just the general public, even cops will have to extra careful with how they go about interrogating under trials in lock ups. In a major verdict to reduce custodial torture, the Supreme Court in July this year, asked all state government to install CCTVs in police stations and interrogation rooms to reduce growing custodial deaths. Armed with footage, random inspection of police stations will also be conducted and Cyberabad commissionerate will now see about 50 police stations getting over 450 cameras to keep watch on every movement of the police. 

Senior police officials feel as along as cameras are kept out of lock ups and interrogation rooms, they are fine with the idea, but has huge worries about human rights activists creating a ruckus over the method of interrogating hardened criminals, who do not crack easily. 

With the home department deciding to install cameras in ladies hostel and paying guests on security issues, concerns remain whether they would not be misused by turning it towards their rooms. In the past, there have been numerous complaints of secret filming of girls' hostel in varsities. 

A move by the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU) is a case in point where all colleges have been asked to install cameras at vital points to check ragging, but students are worried about how their privacy could be compromised with them knowing that every action was being monitored. 

It's best to limit the cameras to exit and entry points and not turn an institute into a web of electronically-surveyed citadel. 


Experts say there should be a clear law to provide safeguards, or the government's discretion can suddenly become arbitrary and denizens find themselves under the mercy of the law. While beefing up security is a welcome move, authorities must also realize, while discharging their duties that the idea of privacy is to respect individual rights.