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

Saturday, March 12, 2016

9487 - India: Aadhaar Bill raises 'reasonable apprehensions' - Dataguidance.com

The Government of India introduced, on 4 March 2016, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016 ('the Bill') in the Lower House of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) to provide statutory status to the Aadhaar programme, which seeks to assign a 12-digit unique identification number ('Aadhaar') to all Indian residents.

"We agree that there are reasonable apprehensions," Avik Biswas, Partner, and Prashant Kumar, Principal Associate at IndusLaw, told DataGuidance. "The apprehensions arise from the fact that the ambit of covered data is limited to biometric.

 In which case, the only scope left for the government will be to use the residuary powers under Section 54 (2)(x) [of the Bill] to frame the rules covering the other information. Also, another option will be to contractually address this issue."

Imprisonment up to three years (which makes the offence bailable) itself, shows the cavalier approach to the issues of privacy. The Bill ought to have provided the provision for compensation to the affected party

The Bill focuses its protections only on biometric information, while other personal information such as photographs, names, addresses, demographic information is not included. In addition, the Bill introduces imprisonment of up to three years and fines of ten thousand rupees or, in the case of a company, a fine may be extended to one lakh rupees for unlawful disclosing or sharing of the core biometric information.

"Imprisonment up to three years (which makes the offence bailable) itself, shows the cavalier approach to the issues of privacy," Biswas and Kumar highlighted. "The Bill ought to have provided the provision for compensation to the affected party. The only reason we can think of is that in many instances of theft contemplated under the Bill the affected person may not even know that privacy has been compromised. However, nonetheless compensation would have been a better deterrent."

Biswas and Kumar affirmed, "On passing of the Bill, most of the payment transactions, might seek for Aadhaar number of the recipient of such payment for transactions. Though it is not mandatory under the Bill to enroll for an Aadhaar number, it is very likely to become norm of the day. Particularly, the Bill is expected to have a significant impact on the employment benefits, taxation and tax benefits, transactions in public sector organisations and financial institutions, other statutory compliances, etc. This may also lessen burden of employers (companies) who will be able to maintain a single account with respect to each employee for payment of employee benefits."

As the Aadhaar Bill was introduced to the Lok Sabha as a money bill, it does not require approval of the Upper Chamber of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha. The Bill will be passed once the Lok Sabha approves it.

Agata Dziedzic | Privacy Analyst