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, January 8, 2016

9207 - UIDAI: Illegal access to Aadhaar data can land you in jail for 10 years - Economic Times

Aman Sharma, ET Bureau Dec 24, 2015, 05.51AM IST

NEW DELHI: Anyone accessing Aadhaar data without having the authority to do so could land in jail for up to 10 years, as the Narendra Modi government fortifies the defence against privacy risks to the biometric information collected under the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project.

The government has also tasked the cabinet secretary with spearheading the framing of a strategy to bring maximum services under the ambit of Aadhaar.

To address the privacy concerns surrounding the UIDAI project, whose mandatory application for government services has been challenged in the Supreme Court, the Centre has passed an order on December 21 designating UIDAI's Central Identities Data Repository facilities as well as the "Information Assets, Logistics Infrastructure and Dependencies" installed at all UIDAI locations to be a "Protected System" under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000. This means, as per the order seen by ET, anyone other than authorised personnel accessing the UIDAI systems, or even making an attempt, would face a jail term of up to 10 years and a fine.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to have further instructed his top bureaucrats to brainstorm on how to leverage Aadhaar's use for maximum government services. Devendra Chaudhary, secretary at the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), on Wednesday said the PM, in his PRAGATI meeting with bureaucrats in November, reviewed the use of Aadhaar in government services. "In the coming times, we have to plan maximum government services through the Aadhaar platform...that is the PM's vision. The cabinet secretary has approved that a group of officers will be meeting in the first week of January to strategise on how to take this issue forward," Chaudhary said at a DARPG conference at industry body Ficci.


"We are going to extend Aadhaar-based services on a voluntary basis... we want to cover 500 sectors by end of next year," Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said at the conference. Sources said the government plans to push a redrafted legislation on giving legal status to UIDAI for the universal application of Aadhaar.
In an interim order on October 15, the Supreme Court permitted voluntary use of the Aadhaar number for the rural employment guarantee scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana, payment of pensions by centre and states, Employees Provident Fund Scheme, public distribution system and the distribution of cooking gas and kerosene. This came after the court restricted Aadhaar's use in a number of services in an earlier order.
A clutch of petitions is pending before an SC Constitution Bench questioning the mandatory use of Aadhaar services by the government. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will plead before the court to allow a wider use of Aadhaar and also keep an option open to bring legislation.

At the conference at Ficci on Wednesday, UIDAI's former chief executive and the telecom regulator's current chief, Ram Sewak Sharma, said India is the only country to have given a "digital identity" to over 95 crore people through Aadhaar cards.