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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Saturday, March 12, 2016

9479 - Nine issues to debate on Aadhaar Bill - The Hindu

March 11, 2016



The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016, better known as Aadhaar Bill, was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 3.
The Bill intends to provide for targeted delivery of subsidies and services to individuals residing in India by assigning them unique identity numbers.

Parliament is debating on the certain portions of the Bill, which may need clarification or amendments:

1. Allowing private agencies to use Aadhaar contradicts statement of objects and reasons of the Bill
The Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill states that identification of targeted beneficiaries for delivery of various government subsidies and services has become a challenge for the government. At the time of the introduction of the Bill, the government stated that “the Bill confines itself only to governmental expenditure.” However, the Bill also allows private persons to use Aadhaar as a proof of identity for any purpose.

2. Issues with sharing information collected under Aadhaar
The provisions in the Bill with regard to protection of identity information and authentication records may be affected by an ongoing writ petition in the Supreme Court. The petition claims that Aadhaar may be in violation of right to privacy. A five-judge Bench of the court is examining whether right to privacy is a fundamental right.

3. Disclosure of information to intelligence or law enforcement agencies
The provisions regulating disclosure of private information under the Bill differ from guidelines specified under another law — the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. The Bill differs from the guidelines for phone tapping in two ways. First, the Bill permits sharing in the interest of ‘national security’ rather than for public emergency or public safety. Second, the order can be issued by an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary, instead of a Home Secretary.

4. Potential to profile individuals
The Bill does not specifically prohibit law enforcement and intelligence agencies from using the Aadhaar number as a link (key) across various datasets (such as telephone records, air travel records, etc.) in order to recognise patterns of behaviour.
Techniques such as running computer programmes across datasets for pattern recognition can be used for various purposes such as detecting potential illegal activities. However, these can also lead to harassment of innocent individuals who get identified incorrectly as potential threats.

5. UID authority’s exclusive power to make complaints
A provision says, “Courts cannot take cognizance of any offence punishable under the Act, unless a complaint is made by the UID authority, or a person authorised by it.” This may present a conflict of interest as under the Bill the UID authority is responsible for the security and confidentiality of identity information and authentication records. There may be situations in which members or employees of the UID authority are responsible for a security breach.

6. Discretionary powers of UIDAI
The Bill empowers the UID authority to specify demographic information that may be collected. The only restriction imposed on the authority is that it shall not record information pertaining to race, religion, caste, language, records of entitlements, income or health of the individual. This power will allow the authority to collect additional personal information, without prior approval from Parliament.

7. Collection of personal information
The enrolment form currently being used contains fields for capturing information such as the National Population Register (NPR) receipt number, mobile number, and bank account number. Though these fields are labelled ‘optional’, it is unclear why this additional information is being recorded.

8. Ambiguity in specifying biometric information
The Bill specifies biometric information to include photograph, fingerprints, and iris scans. Further it empowers the UID authority to specify other biological information that may be collected. Therefore, the Bill does not prevent the UID authority from requiring the collection of biometric information such as DNA.

9. Time period for maintaining authentication records
The Bill does not specify the maximum duration for which authentication records may be stored by the UID authority. Instead it allows the UID authority to specify this through regulations. Maintaining authentication records over a long time period may be misused for activities such as profiling an individual’s behaviour.

Source: PRS Legislative Research