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, April 4, 2017

10953 - Government admits your Aadhaar data has been leaked - New Indian Express

By Yatish Yadav  |   Published: 31st March 2017 01:14 AM  |  

Aadhaar – a unique 12-digit number is assigned to about 99 per cent of adult Indian residents. | File Photo

CHENNAI: If you have an Aadhaar Card and if your bank accounts and other sensitive information are linked to it, chances are that your data is no longer secure.

For the first time, the Modi government has officially acknowledged that personal identity of individuals, including Aadhaar number and other sensitive information, has been leaked to the public domain.

The government, in the recent past, had ignored all warnings and criticisms about the UID data being sensitive and has been aggressively pushing for its adoption across services and platforms. 

A letter written by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, accessed by Express, confirms the data, which the government has been cautiously guarding, has been leaked online.
“There have been instances wherein personal identity or information of residents, including Aadhaar number and demographic information and other sensitive personal data such as bank account details etc. collected by various Ministries/Departments... has been reportedly published online and is accessible through an easy online search,” Archana Dureja, a scientist in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, wrote on March 25.

The official went on to add that the leak of data was a serious and punishable offence.

“Publishing information like Aadhaar number along with name, date of birth, address etc. is a clear contravention of provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and is punishable with imprisonment of up to three years,” the letter said.


“The offending parties are liable to pay damages in the form of compensation to persons affected.” The official, through her letter, also directed ministries and states to discontinue any such content with immediate effect.

Ironically, the same Ministry of Electronics and IT issued a statement on March 5, assuring that personal data of individuals held by UIDAI is fully safe and secure. Issuing a clarification on ‘misinformation in some news items’ alleging breach of the UID data, misuse of biometrics, breach of privacy, and creation of parallel databases, UIDAI had said that it had gone through all the reports and emphasised that there was no leak of data. 


Incidentally, questions regarding the preparedness of the government in handling such a data leak was raised in Parliament on Wednesday by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram. “How do you propose to protect the privacy of individuals after transactions are linked to Aadhaar?” he asked.

Giving a celebrity touch to concerns regarding invasion of privacy, just days ago, cricketer MS Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Dhoni wrote on social media how her husband’s Aadhaar details were made public. The government, on the back foot, promised action against the agency tasked by UIDAI to generate Dhoni’s Aadhaar number.

The government had termed it as an isolated case while announcing that the agency concerned was blacklisted for 10 years. The letter, however, makes it clear that the leak could have been widespread. 


Adding to the concern is the government’s aggression in pushing for inclusion of the UID across platforms, from filing I-T returns to obtaining PAN cards, and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s assertion when asked if the scheme was being forced on people, saying “Yes, we are.”