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.


Monday, March 14, 2016

9510 - Will Only Legal Backing For Aadhaar Suffice? - Indian Express

By Express News Service nie
Published: 14th March 2016 04:12 AM


Aadhaar is set to become mandatory, but the opponents of the scheme are not amused. Concerns about privacy of the Aadhaar number and the authenticity of the biometric data being collected have been expressed by people right from the beginning. But the government has not done much to address these issues.

“It does not matter what legislative backing they give it, it is still a surveillance programme. How can you have a privacy Bill for a surveillance programme? Legislative backing would be band-aid. I do not agree with it,” says Sunil Abraham, Executive Director of The Centre for Internet and Society. The society is a Bengaluru-based organisation looking at multi-disciplinary research and advocacy.

Abraham says that ever since the Aadhaar scheme was implemented, there was a massive degradation of civil liberties.
“It is an opaque technology. Why should the government have such a database?” he asks.

Abraham says that the keys to the data should not have rested with the government where it is vulnerable. Instead, the government should have explored the concept of introducing smart cards issued to the citizen with the data stored on it.

Access to this data could not be had without the permission of the citizen, he says.

At present, if something goes wrong or if the data is compromised, the government can always blame a lapse in technology, Abraham adds.

He questions the government’s logic where it assumes that only the poor section of society can misuse the benefits and says that it is well known that the problem exists in the supply chain and that the government has done nothing to address this.

Mathew Thomas of The Fifth Estate, an NGO, wonders what advantage the BJP suddenly found that they decided to pursue Aadhaar rather than send it to the trash bin as they had promised before the general elections.

Thomas says Aadhaar is flawed and is a fraud on the Constitution and the government has taken the money bill route simply to avoid a debate on it.

“Just passing a Bill is meaningless. This is radically wrong and we all know that protection of privacy is nonsense. How do they plan to plug the leakages? Have they even conducted a study, because there is no evidence of it. The correct beneficiary can get an LPG cylinder, but what is stopping the person from using it for an auto or for his car? That the government can lie to its own people is terrible,” he says.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, which is hearing the matter on privacy concerns about Aadhaar, is expected to have a hearing by the end of this month.