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

Friday, March 25, 2016

9638 - All you wanted to know about Aadhaar Bill - Hindu Businessline

March 21, 2016:  
Last week, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha. Earlier in the week, the Bill was returned by the Rajya Sabha with five key amendments, but these were turned down and the LS passed it as a Money Bill.

What is it?
The Aadhaar Bill plans to use the identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), to deliver State subsidies directly into the hands (or actually, bank accounts) of beneficiaries. Aadhaar was first mooted as the Indian equivalent to the Social Security Number in the US.
Aadhaar isn’t compulsory yet. The Bill is careful in stating that every resident is ‘entitled’ to an Aadhaar number. But it also specifies that the government may ‘require’ an individual to enrol for Aadhaar to verify his identity for receiving a subsidy or government service.

Why is it important?
The government has been offering many kinds of subsidies and monetary payments to the economically weak. But as these payments trickle down from the Centre, via a long chain of intermediaries to the final beneficiary a lot of it is lost in corruption, leakages and bribes. The government is now keen to reduce these leakages by crediting subsidies directly into the bank accounts of the recipients through its JAM initiative (Jan Dhan bank account-Aadhar number-Mobile number).

JAM is expected to sharply reduce the Centre’s subsidy bill. For instance, there are about 17.8 crore LPG connections in India and the government subsidises 10 cylinders every year per family. In 2015, it rolled out an initiative asking the affluent to voluntarily give up their subsidies and commenced direct transfer of LPG subsidy into the bank accounts of households seeking it.

Why should I care?
The Aadhaar Bill directly affects you in two ways. One, with the government now having a right to ask you for Aadhaar, the ID may soon become essential for you to avail of any subsidy or services from the government. So if you have been putting off enrolment for Aadhaar, it may be time do it.

Two, there are concerns that once citizens share so much information with the government, including sensitive stuff such as fingerprints, these may be vulnerable to data theft or misuse by the authorities. A case on whether the implementation of Aadhaar number intrudes into the privacy of a person is currently pending in the Supreme Court.

The Aadhaar Bill has some safeguards in place to address privacy concerns. The UIDAI is not permitted to share information relating to any individual; be it personal details such as date of birth or biometrics, except for two circumstances mentioned in Section 33 of the Bill.

First, in the interest of ‘national security’, a joint secretary in the Central government may issue a directive to reveal your details. This decision will be reviewed by an oversight committee, comprising Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Legal Affairs and Electronics and IT and will be valid for six months.
Two, Courts may order that an individual’s biometric and demographic information be revealed.

The bottomline
Yes, there are data privacy and surveillance concerns. But there’s a bright side. Just a single Aadhaar can now stand in for the multiple sarkaari documents — ration card, PAN, bank statements- that you juggle with to get ID-ed.

A weekly column that puts the fun into learning
(This article was published on March 21, 2016