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.


Monday, April 3, 2017

10923 - Why The Aadhaar Card Is Not Safe - The Citizen


Why The Aadhaar Card Is Not Safe

Monday, March 20,2017


NEW DELHI: In yet another persistent push to literally shovel the Aadhaar Card into Indian identity, it’s now mandatory for poor women to have it in order to procure free cooking gas. Interestingly, even though the Supreme Court had clarified that Aadhaar Card is not mandatory for the mid may meal, the government was still authoritative. As if this new syndrome had not percolated enough, even IRCTC mentioned that in the coming plan for the year 2017-2018, only travelers with Aadhaar Card would be able to book tickets online. Along with National Social Assistance Programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, public distribution scheme, LPG Subsidies and Jan Dhan Yojana, the government is aggressively going to make Aadhaar Card a mandatory official necessity.

So, how did this idea of Aadhaar card promulgate suddenly? Well, it was everything but not sudden. Since 1999, after the Kargil War, the Kargil Review Committee that was formed to assess the national security in India believed for the urgent need of identity cards to be issued particularly to villagers abiding in the border areas and terrorism inflicted zones. Only later by 2001, the recommendation for this unique ID card was accepted under the supervision of L.K. Advani, who later proposed the Citizen Amendment Bill in 2003 in the Lok Sabha. In 2009, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was established under the Niti Aayog or Planning Commission.

Nandan Nilekani, an ex-CEO from Infosys was appointed as the Chairman for UIDAI, a position which is equivalent to that of a Cabinet Minister. It was only later in April 2010 when Nilekani coined the term ‘Aadhaar’ and launched the logo and brand name for this unique identity card. In spite of the stalled legislative procedures, struggles and conjectures regarding this concept, Nilekani continued to strategize. Today, 91.7% of the Indian population has become a part of the Aadhaar Generation.

But amidst all of this, the authoritative order to have an Aadhaar Card reveals one subtle yet simple fact which deals with our identity as Indian citizens. In spite of having Voter-ID Card, Ration Card, Passport, Driving License, PAN Card and others, our identity is still an abstract concept. The lack of transparency, functionality and structuring in the government’s administration suggests how fragile and vulnerable our identities have become. Though, fortunately, we unlike other conflict-prone states, do have the right to identity sanctified by a piece of official paper, then why does it disturb us so much? 
Yes, it is the largest project, too big to fail, for biometric procession and identity verification in the world, yet it is quite disturbing.

To start with, the idea of privacy has now become a foreign, alien and aligning concept. In fact, it is just the opposite of the Right to Information Act. The government would not have each and every single detail about the citizen’s life, carefully monitored and scrutinized. The idea that it will not be used against one is an aberrant one. Well, quite recently, Suvidhaa Infoserve, Axis Bank Ltd and eMudhra had breached the privacy of Aadhaar card and hacked it, later leading to a cyber crime complaint against them. They were charged with impersonation and unauthorized authentication, but the fact that this data was easily available to them does raise doubts. So, how will the government prevent the misuse of our critical information is still ambiguous.

Another issue which haunts the enrollment for Aadhaar card is an instance in New Delhi. Against the total population of the city which amounts to 17.7 million, surprisingly 19.2 million Aadhaar cards were issued. So, how would the government schemes function if the leakage is too apparent and cannot be weeded out. The duplicity of Aadhar Card is falling prey to its own concept, a reality which is hidden from the Indian citizens.

In reality, the entire Aadhaar generation would be in future victims to government scrutiny, harassment and privacy threat, in a way that cannot be conceived as of now. It’s a manipulation of democracy to its very core, where individual privacy is bargained for an official identity, which it itself is a very contested and arbitrary concept.