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, May 31, 2016

10064 - Look into my eyes: Made-in-India Iris recognition on a new Samsung tablet - Deccan Chronicle

INDIATECHONLINE | ANAND PARTHASARATHY

Published
May 30, 2016, 12:40 am IST

Huge potential of Aadhaar prompts Samsung to ‘make in India’ for its tablet-based iris authentication technology.

 Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris provides 8 GB storage and is expandable to 200 GB


Last week, Samsung, staged a dramatic demo in Delhi. As the Telecom Regulatory Authority's Chairman, R.S. Sharma and the Unique Identification Authority of India's Director General A.B.P. Pandey, watched, a Samsung engineer used a just-launched tablet PC to scan the iris of Aloknath De, Samsung's India R&D head. Dr De supplied his Aadhaar number. Within a second, the tablet reported that it had successfully established that he was who he claimed to be -- and brought up his Aadhaar card on the screen.

The resounding taalis aside, this was a development whose potential is only now sinking in. Samsung's Bangalore-based engineers have designed and developed what is arguably the first -ever tablet PC-based system to authenticate a person's identity with near infallibility. To do this the team led by Dr De has incorporated a special camera to scan the iris of a person's eyes and uses a formula called 2-factor authentication to identify him or her to 99.9 percent certainty ( see box: Iris scanning: Infallible)

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Iris, replaces the front camera with an Iris scanner. In other respects this is a fairly standard 7 inch tablet with a quad core processor, a 5 megapixel autofocus rear camera, with a good 3600mAh battery running Android Lollipop 5.11, with 1.5 GB RAM. What is unusual is the 8 GB storage, expandable to a massive 200 GB -- and one can see why. In authenticating identities, the tablet may have to store thousands of records. 

In addition to the software to run the iris identity check with a single click, the makers have made the tablet fully compliant with the Aadhaar data base and has also been certified by the quality control organisation, STQC. They have placed the tablet's identity software development kit in the public domain so that developers can create applications where the iris scan can be used at ration shops, or for disbursing payments under MNREGA, pension payments and any number of e-citizen services.

If one wondered why Samsung chose India to create this technology, Dr Pandey suggested the logic. With Aadhaar enrolments crossing 1 billion, every seventh human being now holds an Aadhaar identity. Samsung is known to have filed for two patents in iris scanning and has registered two trademarks: 'Samsung Iris' and 'Samsung Eyeprint'. Don't be surprised if the company, besides leveraging the first mover advantage for this huge Indian business, also looks at the global potential of its Made in India technology.

So who is the immediate customer for the Galaxy Tab Iris? Don't all rush, because it is not for you and m -- yet. Public service departments who may want to authenticate beneficiaries with minimum delay are the obvious users. But there are other scenarios: rapid insurance claim settlements; preventing ghost mobile phone subscribers, quick clearance at airport immigration, preventing impersonation in examination halls, rapid opening of bank accounts at the customer's home.....you name it. At Rs 13,499, the tablet is reasonably priced for such a path breaking technology.

 Iris scanners on devices like phones and laptops are not new. Microsoft launched two Lumia phones -- 950 and 950 XL -- last October with inbuilt iris scanners which helped owners unlock their phones using its Windows 'Hello' feature. But such applications are trivial compared to what was showcased last week -- and when it trickles down from being an enterprise tool to a consumer accessory -- that'll be the revolution. Consider, you could, from the comfort of your home, self-scan your iris -- and initiate a payment or a document like a passport without physical appearance. This is the ultimate selfie on steroids!
'Look into my eyes... and when you find me there, you'll search no more', sang Bryan Adams in another era on the sound track of the film 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'. Some lyrics can be so prescient -- in ways their writers never imagined.

Iris Scanning: Infallible
The iris scanner is built around a digital camera that uses visible and Infra Red light. By shining IR into the eye, it renders the pupil very black, making it easy to isolate the iris. It then locates the centre and edge of the pupil, the edge of the iris and the eyelid and eyelashes.

Together these factors provide 200 points of reference against around 70 when you take a fingerprint. While fingerprints degrade especially when the subject does manual labour, eyes remain unchanged even after surgery. The blind too, have an iris. The chance of mistaking one person's iris for another's has been rated as one chance in 10 raised to the power 78 -- or virtually nil. Glasses or contact lenses won't affect the scan. (Source: How Stuff Works)