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.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

10445 - Aadhaar has empowered people, it helps both citizens & govt: UIDAI CEO - TNN


Sep 16, 2016, 06.23 AM IST

The role of Aadhaar in delivering subsidies & services is set to enter a critical phase. In the next few months, most central schemes will be linked with it, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey told Rajeev Deshpande & Sidhartha

How do the Aadhaar regulations address issues like exclusion of non-UID holders and data privacy? 

The regulations deal with these issues and also conduct of business. How the UID authority will go about its work.Today , more than 105 crore people have Aadhaar. They can prove their identity anywhere in the country . If someone comes to Delhi from Kerala and has a ration card that is not in Hindi or English, he can use an Aadhaar number as alternative. This can be done in a very secure manner. 

Some companies using Aadhaar for KYC proces sess say someone registered in Kolkata will not be served in Delhi. 

This is their internal restriction. Under the Act, we have no idea of the location of the person. When an authentication request comes, we have no idea where it is originating. This is their business decision. UIDAI, to protect privacy , does not ask or collect the purpose or location of a request for authentication. 

Will Aadhaar really reduce the need for many documents to access services? 

Earlier, people had to visit offices with a bouquet of ID documents. Now, Aadhaar sho uld be acceptable in most situations. An electricity bill is in the name of a single individual. What about the rest of the family? UID has empowered people. You don't need to always carry a document, your number and fingerprints are good enough. 

How does Aadhaar work from the government's point of view? 

Section 7 says the Centre or the state government may require Aadhaar number if the benefits, subsidy and services are from the Consolidated Fund of India. Second part is... if someone does not have an Aadhaar number, then what? This makes it mandatory for the applicant to go for UID enrolment. This is very important. The ministry will notify that in such and such scheme Aadhaar number is needed. After notification, if someone does not have it, they will be asked to enrol.And the agency concerned shall ensure enrolment of beneficiaries. If enrolment facilities are not conveniently located, the responsibility is that of the agency . People will not be left in the lurch. 

How will this prevent institutions from indulging in blame game? 

Aadhaar helps both residents and the government.Section 7 says if the Aadhaar number is not there, there will be alternative means.After you are enrolled, it takes a few weeks to get a UID. Till then, a department must specify what alternative documents will be acceptable. In case even one person is left out, he or she will be covered and the agency concerned will do it. 

What about privacy issues that Aadhaar can become an intrusive `big brother'? 

The big brother factor has been examined in detail. If a government or a private company uses Aadhaar for some other purpose, there could a possibility of aggregating information. UID will not be a big brother as it does not have this information. We only have your number, name, address and biometrics. We don't share data except when you authenticate a request. It is not shared even for a criminal investigation... except for national security. 

What if a private agency begins to collect data to track consumption of various services? 

Section 29 says identity information cannot be disclosed to anyone else. What happens if an (private or government) entity does that? It be comes a criminal offence.The punishment is three years jail, not just a fine. This is a strong deterrent.


What are the checks to ensure data guidelines are not being violated? 

Regulations create an ecosystem of auditors. Regulations create detailed responsibilities. An entity can't take your consent once and keep using it. There is no omnibus consent. Each time... if the information is disclosed, consent is needed.It cannot be repeatedly shared with other agencies.

Who will be responsible if a violation is detected?

Whenever there is a contravention, every person at the time an offence was committed or was in-charge or was responsible for conduct of business shall be liable to be prosecuted. The blame cannot be shifted to some locals