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


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.


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Saturday, December 17, 2016

10576 - Coming Soon: Rs 7k Phones That Bring You ‘Eye-To-Eye’ With Aadhaar - The Quint


S Aadeetya

November 5, 2016, 4:39 pm

The Indian government’s Aadhaar project is set to get a big push from mobile phone makers in the near future. This will be made possible as biometric features like iris scanners will soon be seen in phones that cost as low as Rs 7,000.
As you all know, the Aadhaar card has fingerprint and iris scans. Government-approved phones with iris scanners will let people carry out transactions via their Aadhaar accounts, doing away with the need for paper.

We have warmed up to phones with fingerprint scanners used for unlocking devices. In the case of Apple, with Touch ID you can even buy stuff off iTunes. But there are question marks over its capability for projects like Aadhaar, that is now even used for getting subsidy on LPG lines.
With Samsung and Microsoft, the introduction of iris scanners on mobile phones got a head start. Now it is up to brands like Micromax to make it happen on affordable devices. So, the question to ask is, how soon can these mobile brands cook up affordable phones for the Aadhaar project? Seems like that’s not far away now.
That’s because iris scanners are said to be cheaper than fingerprint scanners. And the cost of economics that comes into play will also help make them feasible for entry-level phones. But first...
What's an iris scanner?
An iris scanner on a phone will be no different from what we have come across till date. Your phone’s front-facing camera will come bundled with an IR-LED light that manages to scan your iris imprints, thereby unlocking the device.
US-based Delta ID, founded in 2011, is one of the first companies to offer it on mobile phones, making it accessible to the consumer.
Most mobile phone makers try to evaluate the value of adding features like biometric to devices. The learning for Delta ID over the years has been that the iris is far better than fingerprint ID, to implement it on mobile phone. 
Vivek Khandelwal, VP, Business Development, Delta ID



More About Iris Scanner
  1. 2-megapixel camera - good to scan both our eyes
  2. IR LED - emits light at near infrared frequency
  3. Not harmful for the naked eye - tested by STQC in India

Mobile Phones, Your ID
Fingerprint scanners on a phone are not a safe standard for Aadhaar. With biometric features on phones, we’re not far away from using our day-to-day device for IDing purposes. With a company like Delta ID, you’re getting the experience of a team which was part of the Aadhaar roll-out.
Companies like Intex, Micromax and even Samsung could line up affordable phones which are embedded with iris scanners and approved by STQC (the government agency meant for certifying such devices). And folks at Delta ID are confident that an entry-level phone for Aadhaar is doable.

Phones with iris scanners will make Aadhaar in digital form accessible to everyone. (Photo: The Quint)

The camera module used in an iris scanner costs less than module for the fingerprint scanner. The cost of economics is heavily in favour of iris, which played a big role in convincing the government to go with iris on a mobile.
Vivek Khandelwal, VP, Business Development, Delta ID
Khandelwal gives us the assurance that the iris scanners built by their company for phones do not pose any security concerns. Also, no iris IDs are saved on the devices prescribed for these kind of purposes and is fully encrypted before it is sent.

Android’s Safe for Aadhaar
When it comes to security, there have been multiple instances over the years which never let us trust Android, as much as we’d like to. But if you take Delta ID’s word, they say it’s a far-fetched concern.
The Aadhaar ecosystem is as safe as Visa’s basis. It’s data is not on the internet, it is spread across limited end points via leased lines. So, even if someone tries to hack into it, those end points can be immediately closed up. 
Vivek Khandelwal, VP – Business Development, Delta ID
Also, one needs to understand that the iris IDs captured by the phone’s camera are not available to any application.
The entire process functions in a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) that’s running below the Android interface available to us. The encrypted data is sent across to the back end, only after the required security levels have been met. All this is done on leased lines, which are said to be more secure. But it remains to be seen how efficient the process will be when it’s actually implemented.

They Are Coming
Finally, Khandelwal lets the cat out of the bag, saying that multiple domestic brands are working to make these phones become a reality.
We are talking to domestic original equipment manufacturers for the same and you’ll hear more from us in the coming months.

After connecting with multiple mobile brands over this subject, our point of view is different from what Delta ID suggests. But for now, we’d take their word over ours.