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

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

10448 - Aadhaar needs to be backed by Plan B to avoid chaos - TOI

September 15, 2016, 7:07 PM IST Sanjiv Shankaran in Cash Flow | India | TOI

Union government’s recent notification on some Aadhaar-related regulations is unlikely to make the 12-digit identifier a mandatory requirement for all public welfare schemes. 

Inadequate supporting infrastructure will ensure that Aadhaar will be used in conjunction with other forms of identity in large parts of India.

The notification acknowledges the problems. Hence, the caveat that government agencies which require people to produce Aadhaar need to arrange for it in case a beneficiary does not have one. This covers the people who do not have an Aadhaar number. But other problems which showed up in pilot studies suggest that we have a long way to go before Aadhaar can fulfill its potential.

For Aadhaar to work without frictions, supporting infrastructure in the form of point-of-sales machines and internet connectivity need to be excellent. So far, they have been a letdown in some parts of India.

Business Standard in a story in April pointed out that last mile connectivity remained a problem in taking banking to everyone. Similar set of last mile problems have led to mixed results in other areas where Aadhaar was used to identify beneficiaries in welfare schemes.

Rajasthan has seen experiments since UPA II days to reduce leakages in welfare schemes by making use of technology. Four years after the first attempts, problems remain.

A Times of India report in June said that problems with point-of-sale machines in Rajasthan were disruptive. Government data for May showed a significant drop in beneficiaries. Other reports from Rajasthan suggested similar problems.

Rajasthan is not the only state to experience problems. Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand too have seen a fair share of problems.

Jean Dreze, who has studied the challenges in rolling out Aadhaar, described it in the following manner.

“This system requires multiple fragile technologies to work at the same time: the PoS machine, the biometrics, the Internet connection, remote servers, and often other elements such as the local mobile network. Further, it requires at least some household members to have an Aadhaar number, correctly seeded in the PDS database.”

Dreze is a sceptic at this moment.

Aadhaar, conceptually, is a good thing. But even good concepts have to overcome multiple frictions when they are actualized in a country at India’s stage of evolution. Therefore, it makes sense to proceed more cautiously. It is unwise to proceed without a Plan B in India.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.