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.


Monday, September 12, 2016

10413 - Biometric ATMs ride in on Aadhaar - Indian Express

By Jonathan Ananda
Published: 11th September 2016 05:25 AM

CHENNAI: A few years ago, biometric ATMs were something that excited imaginations. Money with just a fingerprint? An iris scan? No hassles of PINs and passwords? The idea was an instant hit. But the years following saw the fervour die down a bit. Banks weren’t as quick in rolling out biometrically enabled teller machines.

That has changed in the last few months, with bank after bank introducing pilots, in the case of DCB Bank an official launch, of biometrically enabled cash machines in select areas. The vital change in banks’ willingness to finally rollout something that they have been infrastructurally capable of for years has been spurred by one single factor — Aadhaar. The biometric footprint of lakhs of Indians provided by UIDAI has finally given banks the wherewithal to enable biometrics in their last mile cash delivery platforms.


“Quite frankly, it was never a priority for us (public sector banks) because of the other challenges we were struggling with,” pointed out a senior bank official in a nationalised bank. “Collecting biometric information from customers would have involved a lot of human resources, those we couldn’t spare. Aadhaar has solved that particular problem,” he added.

It is not just distracted PSBs that were waiting for a readily available database. Private banks like Axis Bank, which are rolling out pilots in several areas, were doing the same thing.
“Earlier, we had to create our own biometric footprint. Now that everyone has one available over a simple API call, it makes sense for us to bring in biometrics,” said Amit Sethi, Chief Information Officer, Axis Bank.
In fact, Sethi says that all new ATMs that Axis will install in the next year might well come biometrically enabled.
“We are already running a pilot and we will launch it officially very soon,” he admitted.

DCB Bank’s Managing Director & CEO, Murali M. Natrajan agrees that Aadhaar has been a game changer, The bank has launched what it claims is the India’s first Aadhaar based ATM. Which accepts customer’s Aadhaar number and fingerprint (biometric) impression in addition to the usual debit card.
“The Aadhaar linked ATM transaction has enabled customers use their Aadhaar number and fingerprint details instead of the Debit or ATM Card PIN. The user either can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or use the Debit or ATM Card (ATM) to start a transaction. At the stage of confirming the identity the customer simply puts any finger on the scanner rather than the PIN,” Natrajan pointed out.
But banks like Axis and HDFC have already rolled out a version of biometrics in their micro ATM initiatives. HDFC announced the measure early last year. Sethi says Axis has a large number of micro ATMs in rural geographies that do everything, including disburse instant loans through biometric verification.
But biometrics, while ‘cool’ was a bit of an overkill when it was just cash that was being disbursed through ATMs. “But ATMs do a lot more now. They do KYC work, they disburse loans, there are so many use cases. It makes a lot of sense integrating biometrics with them now,” pointed out Sethi.
Another factor pushing banks is that fact that technological differentiation is steadily becoming a vital aspect of how customers move to and from banks.
“Twenty new banks are coming in now. And a lot of these are going to be using technology to differentiate — in user experience, cost of operations etc,” said Navroze Dastur, Managing Director, NCR Corporation India.
NCR is one of the largest ATM manufacturers in the world and has a 48 per cent market share o the ATM market in India.
The rollout of biometrics is not just confined to ATMs. ICICI Bank has introduced an over the phone voice verification feature for customers and Standard Chartered meanwhile announced the rollout of a host of biometric capabilities for Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The ‘Touch in’ feature is already live in India.
The age of biometrics is here. And ATMs are riding the crest of the wave. What has made this possible, however, is Aadhaar.