The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Sunday, March 6, 2016

9391 - TRAI suggests that Aadhaar can be used to get a mobile connection - Medianama

By Sneha Johari ( @thejunebug ) on February 26, 2016

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed that the Department of Telecom (DoT) allow e-KYC (know your customer) of Aadhaar as one of the valid documents to get a new mobile connection, reports TOI. This recommendation was made earlier this month after consulting with the Solicitor General and the Attorney General, the report adds.

This facility has not been finalised yet and the government has also sought comments (pdf) from the public (pdf). On the MyGov platform, it has received 345 submissions, out of which it approved 267 as of now. From the submissions, readers would note that people have suggested both for and against Aadhaar as a means of identity, and some comments from as long as 1.5 years ago. As of now, Idea, Vodafone, Tata Docomo and Airtel do not accept Aadhaar as either an ID or address proof to get a new connection.

Speed up the process of getting a new connection
The TOI report adds that the government will enable instant ID verification using Aadhaar card biometrics data to get a new SIM card and connection, as a measure to speed up the process of getting one and eliminating the use of paper. This would also help in eliminating multiple SIMs owned under one person’s documents as may be the case now.

A DNA report from March 2015 states that the prime minister’s office had approved a partial roll out of using Aadhaar as an ID proof via eKYC in the circles of Bhopal, Kolkata, Delhi, Lucknow and Bangalore, which would run for 6 weeks. The telecom operators would need to share the generated data with the Intelligence Bureau. A Business Standard report from December states that Aadhaar was then being used as a proof for address and ID for getting SIM cards, but the IB and home ministry were re-considering allowing eKYC for this with respect to security concerns.

The UIDAI states that as of December 2014, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has issued 70 crore Aadhaar Cards (while the TOI report states that 97.93 have been issued to date). The highest number of cards have been issued in Uttar Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra, West Bengal and Bihar (we had reported previously that 2 crore Aadhaar numbers had been assigned to Bihar’s citizens, out of a total population of 10.41 crores). The least number of cards have been issued in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa and Uttarakhand among others.

Other Aadhaar developments:
– Last week, Microsoft said that it is working on a pilot to integrate its VoIP solution Skype with the Aadhaar database, to see if Aadhaar can be used as an identification system for video calls with government organisations and institutions among others.

– In September 2015, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is responsible for issuing Aadhar cards in the country, was shifted to ministry of IT and communications from the country’s top policy commission, NITI Aayog.
– As of March 2015, the NPCI linked 15 crore bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana with Aadhar numbers. The linking of an Aadhar number with a bank account makes the job of identification easier for the government in order to make welfare payments and subsidies directly into the bank accounts.

Also read:

Our Aadhaar coverage.
Image Credit: Ravishyam Bangalore under CC BY SA 4.0