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

10941 - MS Dhoni’s Aadhaar leak raises questions on data safety and privacy - Indian Express

Perhaps the focus should be on ensuring complete safety to Aadhaar data, at the collection points as well as storage repositories, instead of showing urgency to impose it on citizens.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Updated: March 29, 2017 4:23 pm


Photo of Ms Dhoni posted on Twitter by CSCeGov handle

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Aadhaar details were made public by a Twitter handle of the Central Services Centre. The leak has raised the issue of privacy of individuals and security of data collected by the government for Aadhaar. The government has been on an overdrive to implement Aadhaar and link it to both welfare and non-welfare schemes in the country. But, it is a serious concern when personal information of an individual is not kept secure and leaked out in the public domain. Despite implementing advanced technological safeguards, a thing as simple as human error breached the security of Aadhaar. Perhaps the focus should be on ensuring complete safety to Aadhaar data, at the collection points as well as storage repositories, instead of showing urgency to impose it on citizens.

Furthermore, there are security loopholes which are continuously being flagged but instead of paying heed to them and resolving the issues, the government seems to be in denial. In recent reports, it was seen how people were able to gain more than one Aadhaar enrollment IDs. Social media is littered with posts, some claiming to be evidence, of more extensive security vulnerabilities or compromise of Aadhaar.

A report by the Data Security Council of India submitted to the UIDAI a few years ago had listed several security threats to the system highlighting the concerns of maintaining centralised databases of biometric personal identifiable information. “Large centralized databases of biometric personal Identifiable Information, hooked up to networks and made searchable in a distributed manner, represent significant targets for hackers and other malicious entities to exploit. Further, large centralised databases are more prone to functional creep (secondary uses) and insider abuse. There are also significant risks associated with transmitting biometric data over networks where they may be intercepted, copied, and actually tampered with, often without any detection,” the report had said

Discomforting clauses in the Aadhaar Act allow great space for UIDAI and government to wriggle out of accountability issues. According to Aadhaar Act, UIDAI is not legally obliged to inform someone whose information stored with them is compromised. Furthermore, only the UIDAI can file a complaint in such a case. Therefore, not only is the onboarding done in a rushed manner with so many security and privacy issues, it comes with such clauses that effectively keep individuals in the dark about misuse of their personal information.

The UIDAI claims that all its systems are secure and that the data accumulated is secure. But security experts remain wary about the program. Incidents of unauthorised attempts to use Aadhaar databases, unauthorised storage of Aadhaar information by Aadhaar Authentication User Agencies (AUAs) have come to the fore in recent days. Human error, insider attack, man-in-the-middle-attacks are just some of the vulnerabilities experts list which show that the system may actually not be 100% effective.

Acknowledging that the central infrastructure would be state-of-the-art, the Data Security Council report elucidated: “It is the other registrars and the agencies which will capture the data, and store the same even as they transmit the same to CIDR, that may turn out to be the weakest link when it comes to the security and privacy. The latter are likely to be susceptible to attacks from all angles – people, process and technology.”
It has been a controversial issue and the Supreme Court is yet to deliberate on the validity of Aadhaar. Chief Justice of India and a Constitution Bench will also outline the details of right to privacy and chalk out the nuances of the debate. However, incidents like Dhoni’s Aadhaar number leak raise questions on safety and privacy of the data.

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