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.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

9597 - False sense of security: Aadhaar is broken, and the new bill doesn't fix it - Catch News

                    ARYA SHARMA/CATCH NEWS


|17 March 2016

The Lok Sabha has passed the Aadhaar Bill without incorporating any amendments suggested by the Rajya Sabha. Since it was introduced two weeks ago, much has been written about the bill and the Aadhaar scheme.

One of the main concerns raised over Aadhaar - not just now but in the past as well - is about the role of private companies, specifically whether there are sufficient safeguards to prevent misuse or unauthorised use of personal data collected by them.


To understand what is at stake, it's necessary to explain the involvement of private parties in the collection and use of personal information for Aadhaar. Data protection could have been ensured at two levels - through contractual obligations on the private agency involved; through protection built into law such agencies as required to follow.

So, are these protections in place? Let's look at the data flow, flag concerns and explain if and how they have been addressed.

As my colleague at the Centre for Internet and Society Vidushi Marda explains, data flow for UID enrolment can be best understood by first delineating the organisations involved in it.
The UIDAI, the statutory body overseeing Aadhaar, enters into MoUs with Registrars - usually government departments or large private actors such as the LIC - to collect personal data. The Registrars in turn rope in Enrolment Agencies, or EAs - usually private parties - to set up enrolment centres for data collection.

90% Aadhar enrolment is done. Bill is like locking stable door after the horse has bolted: @ambersinha07


The UIDAI has a standard Enrolment Form which asks for information such as name, address, birth date, gender, proofs of address and identity. However, it has been reported that some MoUs allow the registrars - and by extension private EAs - to collect additional information than what is specified by the UIDAI.

Since an individual has to share personal information to register for Aadhaar, she ends up in a position of being coerced to provide additional data that's not required for enrolment. This can't be considered 'informed consent', which is the basis of all data protection laws worldwide.


Lack of accountability
The enrolment process is this: the individual fills out the form, the details are verified against her supporting documents, and then entered by an operator in the UIDAI-provided Aadhaar Enrolment Client software.

Here's the catch: these operators at the enrolment centres are not answerable to the UIDAI but to the private EAs. This lack of privity and the loose set of legal relationships between the UIDAI and the EAs raises clear questions of accountability.
Further, the language used in the UIDAI's contracts with biometric solutions providers - such as L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company and Accenture Services Pvt Ltd, both of which, incidentally, are alleged to have links with foreign intelligence agencies - is quite disturbing.

The contracts allow them "access to personal information of the purchaser and/or a third party or any resident of India, any other person covered within the ambit of any legislation as may be applicable" for a period of seven years.

Token solutions
The new bill does have provisions that seem to address these concerns by directing the UIDAI to ensure its obligations are passed on to the agencies and consultants it engages to perform any powers or function under the Act. But this is no more than lip-service, for two reasons.
One, this legal obligation is on the UIDAI, neither the operators nor the EAs are subject to it in the absence of a binding contract. Two, more than 90% of the enrolment is already done, so introducing these controls now is like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

.@ambersinha07: Data operators are answerable to private Eas, not UIDAI. Where's the accountability?


The bill refers to the rules framed under Section 43A of the IT Act, and brings the biometric information collected for Aadhaar within the definition of "sensitive personal data or information" under these rules.
This is another attempt to provide some legal protection to the personal data collected, but it, too, amounts to little. That's because these rules are woefully inadequate.
Section 43A is a provision for data security, not data protection. It enables the framing of rules for reasonable security practices that private entities ought to follow. Although the rules seek to punch above their weight by including some data protection principles as well, they are severely limited by being subordinate to the enabling provision which only talks about data security.


The Aadhaar enrolment process has been broken since its inception. While efforts have been made in this bill to fix it, they fall way short of addressing most of the key concerns.