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.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

10354 - World Economic Forum releases digital identity report - Biometric Update



August 22, 2016 - 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently released a report on the importance of digital identity for financial institutions.

The report, entitled “Disruptive innovation in financial services: A blueprint for digital identity”, is intended as a guide for chief strategy officers at financial institutions, as well as policy makers, who are interested in the topic of identity and want to understand digital identity and their own potential role in the creation of robust digital identity systems.

The report lays out, in detail, the argument for financial institutions to drive the development of digital identity solutions, discusses the landscape of identity solutions, provides recommendations on the construction of identity systems, and discusses the suite of benefits that these systems would bring to stakeholders.

The report contends that the inadequacies of current identity systems are limiting fintech innovation, as well as the development of secure and efficient service delivery in the financial services generally.

The report therefore calls on financial institutions to lead the charge in developing robust digital identity solutions that would bring wider benefits to users, financial institutions, and society as a whole.

Some of the critical steps outlined in the report include: studying and understanding digital ID users, engaging with the public sector, and determining the technology backbone needed for identity systems.

The report notes that digital identity should be widely recognized as a foundational step in enabling economic transformation and that there is a need for a “concerted and coordinated effort” to build a truly transformational digital identity system.

While not intended as a roadmap, the report is designed to serve as a foundation for financial and government institutions wishing to understand and ultimately act on identity challenges.
The report provides a number of helpful case studies, including one that examines Aadhaar, recognized as the world’s largest universal civil ID program and biometric database, which is currently used by the Indian government to provide social and increasingly, financial services. To date, Aadhaar has issued over 900 million Aadhaar numbers, and has enrolled approximately 850 million people, with a goal of ultimately enrolling 1.28 billion people.

WEF’s “Blueprint for Digital Identity” report is the most recent phase of the organization’s ongoing “Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services Project”, developed in collaboration with consulting firm Deloitte. The project explores the potential for digital identity in financial services and beyond and lays out a blueprint for the implementation of effective digital identity systems.


The project was launched to examine the accelerating rate of technological change, combined with shifting customer preferences and an evolving regulatory landscape, which have dramatic implications for the ways in which financial services are structured, delivered and consumed. The WEF project, with its long-term, multi-stakeholder perspective on the industry’s trends and uncertainties, is designed to help incumbent players understand the implications of these innovations and craft a strategic response. This recent report is one of a number of reports that have been released on the subject.