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, March 18, 2016

9550 - Crucial Aspects of the Aadhaar Bill 2016

Crucial Aspects of the Aadhaar Bill 2016

By SiliconIndia  |   Wednesday, 16 March 2016, 02:35 Hrs

BENGALURU: On 3rd March 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, introduced the Aadhaar Bill which is all set to see the light of the day as an enforceable law for it has been passed by Lok Sabha, by voice vote, as a money bill. It is deemed to be passed in a couple of weeks after the Rajya Sabha holds a discussion over it given the fact that Rajya Sabha cannot make amendments in a Money Bill passed by Lok Sabha and transmitted to it. Here are the crucial aspects of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill 2016 cultivated from prsindia.org.

Banking upon Aadhaar’s Huge Repository

The Aadhaar Project is considered as the worlds largest of its kind; Arun Jaitley stated that 97 percent of Indian adults held Aadhaar cards.  Upon enacting the bill government can provide targeted services to beneficiaries using the 12 digit unique identity number called Aadhaar, to which the beneficiary’s bank account can be linked to. This would ensure transparency in the transaction while curbing possibilities of delays and corruption. Consequently Aadhaar number would be made mandatory for availing government subsidies.  The Aadhaar number has already been successfully employed for Direct Benefit Transfer and Public Distribution System and has also been in use by various other central as well as state government agencies.

Eligibility and Information Required

“Any person who has resided in India for 182 days in the one year preceding the date of application for enrolment for Aadhaar.” as the bill quotes is eligible for Aadhaar. The information required to avail an Aadhaar card would be his/her biometrics (photograph, finger print, iris scan) and demographics (name, date of birth, address). The bill also states that any public or private entity may accept the Aadhaar number as a proof of identity but specifically states that Aadhaar number cannot be treated as a proof of citizenship.

Authentication

The bill states that the authentication record would be maintained by the UID authority which would consist of a chairperson, two part-time members and a chief executive officer.  The chairperson and members are required to have experience of at least ten years in matters such as technology, governance, etc. As per the bill, the key functions of the UID Authority include (i) specifying demographic and biometric information to be collected during enrolment, (ii) assigning Aadhaar numbers to individuals, (iii) Authenticating Aadhaar numbers, and (iv) Specifying the usage of Aadhaar numbers for delivery of subsidies and services. 

Revealing the Information

Any entity (an agency or person) will require the consent of the individual before authenticating his/her information from the UID authority. The bill also states that the entity may use the disclosed information only for purposes for which the individual has given consent. The UID would respond to an authentication query with a positive, negative or other appropriate response. However, the UID is not permitted to share an individual’s finger print, iris scan and other biological attributes. The authority would also record the entity requesting verification along with time of request and response received while the purpose for which an individual's identity needs to be verified will not be maintained.

Biological Data to be Withheld

An individual’s biological attribute which includes, finger print, iris scan etc. would only be used for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication. The bill guarantees that the information would not be shared to anyone nor be displayed publicly, except in the interest of national security whereby if a Joint Secretary in the central government issues a direction for revealing the same. The bill quotes,” “Such a decision will be reviewed by an Oversight Committee (comprising Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Legal Affairs and Electronics and Information Technology) and will be valid for six months.”


Enforcing Privacy and Protection

The bill has also included provision for ensuring privacy and protection of this crucial data of the population. “A person may be punished with imprisonment up to three years and minimum fine of Rs 10 lakh for unauthorized access to the centralized data-base, including revealing any information stored in it.” it reads and also adds that “No court shall take cognizance of any offence except on a complaint made by the UID authority or a person authorized by it.” Lets us hope the digital security of the data is too good for hackers to break in.