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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Monday, April 3, 2017

10922 - UK public faces mass invasion of privacy as big data and surveillance merge - The Guardian


UK public faces mass invasion of privacy as big data and surveillance merge

Tony Porter, the government’s surveillance camera commissioner, says regulators are struggling to keep up with pace of technological change


Tony Porter, the government’s CCTV watchdog, who is worried that overt surveillance is becoming more invasive. Photograph: Martin Godwin/for the Guardian
Tuesday 14 March 2017 07.00 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 14 March 2017 08.44 GMT

The privacy of the public is at risk of being invaded on a mass scale without its consent as the collection of big data meshes with proliferation of video surveillance, the government’s CCTV watchdog has warned.

Launching a new three-year strategy, the surveillance camera commissioner, Tony Porter, admitted that regulators and the government were struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change.

He said he was alarmed by the way overt surveillance from CCTV, body cameras and drones could become even more invasive than intended as captured images of people are brought together with advances in facial recognition and then compared against other monitored data about individuals and their movements. 

“What most worries me is the impact of big data and integration of video surveillance,” said Porter, a former senior counter-terrorism officer who has just been reappointed for a second three-year term as surveillance camera commissioner.

As an example, he warned that the Metropolitan police was playing “fast and loose” with citizens’ data by its failure to delete number-plate records beyond a two-year limit.

The database of millions of vehicle number plate records has been retained since the London Olympics in 2012. Porter told the Guardian: “The problem with the Olympic feed is that it has continued in perpetuity. It moved from being a pilot in the Olympic Games to a position that is now untenable. The police need to review why they are retaining that data and get rid of it.”

He pointed out that police have the power to retain number-plate records for two years, but said it was open to legal challenge by retaining data beyond this limit. “To retain into 2017 without giving evidence and grounds is questionable. There needs to be a very close look at that. And my understanding is that the police are doing that. The danger of delay is that you have a state body that is prepared to play fast and loose with the retention of citizens’ data when there is no requirement.”
Porter’s new strategy, published on Tuesday, points out that an overwhelming majority of people currently support the use of CCTV in public places. But he questions whether this support can continue because of the way surveillance is changing.
“I’m worried about overt surveillance becoming much more invasive because it is linked to everything else,” Porter said. “You might have a video photograph of somebody shopping in Tesco. Now it is possible to link that person to their pre-movements, their mobile phone records, any sensor detectors within their house or locality. As smart cities move forward, these are challenges are so much greater for people like myself. And members of the public need to decide whether they are still happy with this.”
He added: “The nightmare scenario is that there is a lack of understanding about how big and effective this can be. This technology is there to protect us, but there needs to be informed consent about what it is capable of doing. Body-worn video, for example, or facial recognition – that can identify people on databases who didn’t know they were on databases.”
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Porter conceded that advances in technology such as drones have helped police solve crimes and hunt for missing people. But he added: “Surveillance cameras are becoming much more integrated into the internet … The problem is when new and advancing technology is brought together by well-meaning people that actually invades people’s privacy, or worse, leaves privacy at risk of theft or uploading on YouTube.”
Porter said part of his new strategy would set a “tripwire” to warn authorities about the privacy impact of new technology.
In recent weeks Porter has expressed alarm about the proliferation of body-worn video, notably in hospitals, and by the way the security contractor G4S was using it in the homes of asylum seekers without their consent.
Porter said there was mounting evidence that body-worn video was being used without sufficient regard to privacy. He gave the example of an unnamed local authority which pointed a CCTV camera on to a resident’s front door, then compounded the error by dispatching a council officer equipped with a body-worn video to apologise for the misplaced camera.
Porter urged authorities to follow his code of practice, which insists that surveillance cameras should only be used if there is pressing public need.