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, September 27, 2016

10456 - Protect Aadhaar data, guard privacy for all... - Deccan Chronicle

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published

Sep 17, 2016, 12:27 am IST

The Aadhaar database has a huge amount of sensitive data about which UIDAI must be extremely cautious.

India’s relations with global firms are getting increasingly clouded by distrust as officials keep making more unreasonable demands. Top global smartphone makers like Apple and Google are unlikely to respond kindly to India’s request (or demand?) to modify their operating systems and devices to allow Aadhaar authentication securely. Smartphones are the absolute future for India as a basic device that a majority of its billion-plus mobile users will own soon as prices steadily fall. 

What the government is trying to do is further its aims in Aadhaar by getting its citizens’ identity established by global entities, which obviously don’t see eye to eye with India in matters such as breaching individuals’ privacy. 

India’s Aadhaar, with 90 per cent adults already compliant, set up an efficient methodology to establish the identity of a population exceeding 1.25 billion, and not just to weed out duplication in government subsidies like the public distribution system of essentials and LPG. There is also concern over intrusions into the privacy of individuals in gathering biometric data for Aadhaar, though it’s really criminals who have more to fear.

Where official India is going wrong is equating every Indian with the small percentage who are ripping off subsidies. The request to global firms to help India do its job is part of the process of establishing control over erring citizens. Such distrust was evident in frequent government moves to request taking down social media posts considered offensive, inflammatory or incendiary, but too many of them were aimed at criticism or lampooning of politicians rather than security and communal issues. Given such a background of official India trying to control access to databanks by urging global players like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to set up servers on Indian soil, the reluctance of global players to any such initiative is understandable.

 Apple built its own ecosystem, and close rival Google, which powers Android phones, has built a revenue model based on hardware safe zones they offer their clientele.

Some who make devices in India like Samsung, Lenovo and Micromax may oblige for market reasons, but this must be weighed against security risks. 

The Aadhaar database has a huge amount of sensitive data about which UIDAI must be extremely cautious. To allow access to metadata of personal information to mobile phone makers, operating system vendors and even ISPs entails a huge security risk. 

To allow organic growth of Aadhaar as the definitive Indian identity system would be the wiser course and our domestic banking systems and mobile phone sellers can build their own secure systems. The global players will fall in line with Aadhaar when market forces become persuasive. The larger question is to ensure the security of a precious database.