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, December 6, 2016

10539 - Govt to keep Aadhaar records for 7 yrs, prompts fears of surveillance - Hindustan Times

INDIA Updated: Oct 17, 2016 08:56 Ist


Aloke Tikku 
Hindustan Times

Women show their Aadhaar cards while standing in a queue at a poll booth in Ajmer. (PTI File Photo)

The government will keep a record of all the services and benefits availed using the Aadhaar number for seven years, say new rules, prompting fears that the database could be used for surveillance.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues the 12-digit biometric identity to all Indian residents, will be required to preserve its record of verification of an Aadhaar number for the duration.

“This is an unprecedented centralised data retention provision,” said Sunil Abraham, director of the Bengaluru-based think tank, Centre for Internet and Society.

UIDAI chief executive officer ABP Pandey said the concerns were exaggerated. The agency was keeping records in case a dispute arose over a transaction.


The information will be retained online for two years and another five years in the offline archives, say the rules notified in September.

Users will be able to check the records but only for two years.
This restriction won’t apply to security agencies. Pandey, however, said the records would not be available to them without a district judge’s permission.

But, Hindustan Times found that the rules allow designated joint secretary-level officers at the Centre to order access to information on the grounds of national security.

“Once Aadhaar becomes mandatory for all services, it can be used by benign and malignant actors to conduct a 360-degree surveillance on any individual,” Abraham said.

This is how the system, which will need millions of fingerprint-reading machines, works.

Every time a person fingerprints and quotes the Aadhaar number, the agency concerned sends the data to UIDAI to crosscheck the particulars.

The UIDAI authenticates about five million Aadhaar numbers, which are quoted to avail LPG subsidy, cheap ration and even passport, a day against a capacity to verify 100 million requests daily.
“You can think of it as Natgrid Plus,” Abraham said, a reference to the National Intelligence Grid being built by the government.
A one-stop database for counter-terrorism agencies, Natgrid will collate information real time from databases of various agencies such as bank, rail and airline networks.

“…we do not record the purpose for which an authentication request was received but only the details of the agency that sent it,” UIDAI’s Pandey said.

But seven years is a long time. Only a select category of government files are kept for longer than five years.
Asked about two-year deadline for users, Pandey said it would have been a logistic nightmare to let people access the records once the information was offline.

The Supreme Court has a ruled that Aadhaar is not a must for availing welfare schemes and is to decide if collecting biometric data for the 12-digit number infringed an individual’s privacy.