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.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

11038 - Iris recognition to accelerate Aadhar's impact: Tamaal Roy - Computer World


By Sejuti Das Apr 11Th 2017

Tamaal Roy of Biomatiques discusses the loopholes in authentication methods and why iris recognition matters in the age of Aadhar. 

The increasing importance of creating a digital identity has taken the authentication process to a different level altogether. With the majority of Indian organizations facing challenges with data security, biometrics authentication provides one of the most secure ways of collecting, identifying and utilizing that data. Of the various biometric technologies, iris recognition is considered to be the most trusted form of identity authentication.

A Surat-based company, Biomatiques, claims to be a torchbearer of iris recognition technology. It is the first Indian company to receive the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) for their iris scanners from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

The company is one of the 13 global players who have patented technology in this arena. On this note, Tamaal Roy, CEO, Biomatiques Identification Solutions describes the technology gap in today's authentication methods and how iris recognition is gaining prominence in the biometric market of India.

Edited Excerpts
What are the changing trends in the India biometrics market as compared to the global regions?
The rising concern about data security has resulted in the increase in demand for biometrics. The initiatives taken by the government of India to adopt biometrics systems for the purpose of identification and verification are fuelling the growth of this market. Use of biometrics in ecommerce and cloud computing solutions are also the key opportunity areas.
We are witnessing a sharp rise in the adoption and acceptance of this technology. In fact, many government offices and shops in the country have introduced Aadhaar enabled biometric systems to either mark their employees’ attendance or verification of an individual.
We have successfully supplied 33,310 biometrics scanners to the government of Andhra Pradesh, which has been implemented for pension and ration distribution. We believe Aadhar will soon be a reality in all walks of life, from digital transactions to government dealings.
Globally, the consumer market is the largest adopter of iris technology followed by government, healthcare, finance, NGOs, law enforcement and defense. Reports also indicate that some of the largest used cases include consumer device authentication, pharmacy dispensing, cashpoint/automated teller machine (ATM) access, aid distribution and fraud reduction.
How do you see iris recognition gaining momentum in a market like India?
More than 70 percent of the Indian population is labor class, which means constant manual labor using bare hands. This creates a possibility of fingerprint change due to cuts, bruises and wrinkles as many of them do not wear any protective gear. Such issues create problems when you have to use a fingerprint scanner, as many times the image does not match with the saved data.
Aadhaar-based initiatives, other public services and government's welfare schemes that use iris technology are gradually changing the security system infrastructure of the country.
However, while all features, organs and limbs in a body can undergo changes on a regular basis, eyes remain same from the time of your birth till death. Hence, iris scanning proves to be one of the most accurate forms of biometric identification, with a False Acceptance Rate (FAR) of 1:12 million, which is unmatched by any other biometric modality.
Iris technology is easy, cheap, fast and extremely accurate, and therefore provides secure transactions and ease of convenience to all classes of people. It also goes several steps beyond the safeguarding of pins, passwords and cards, which have the danger of being copied or stolen. If reports are to be believed, worldwide iris recognition technology market is expected to increase to USD 4.1 billion by 2025.
What are the innovative products and solutions you have for the Indian market?
Currently, we have a flagship product model—EPI-1000—for any Aadhaar enabled service, which provides iris images of exceptional quality for both enrolment and verification. Apart from that, we have several prototype iris scanners that are available for different businesses in different verticals.
We are aggressively focusing on a growth plan, considering the existing market for the delivery of government schemes using Aadhaar enabled services. We are also aligning with several system integrators to develop accurate iris biometric-based identification solutions for the government, BFSI, telecom, automobile and education sector.
How is iris technology going to change the face of the security infrastructure of the country?
Currently, iris technology is the best authentication process available. The technology is usually mistaken as a simple retinal scan, but it actually involves image processing authentication which uses unique patterns that are formed in the iris as a means of identification. Therefore, no two human beings can have the same iris pattern whatsoever.
The Aadhaar-based initiatives, other public services government's welfare schemes that use iris technology are gradually changing the security system infrastructure of the country. It is now being deployed for large scale applications in government supported projects.
Further, iris biometric technology can help practitioners in retrieving medical documents of patients without any gaps and delays. Also, it can be used for security checks at airports and borders.
What is the scope of iris technology in e-governance in India?
We believe iris technology has a humungous scope in e-governance application services such as passport, taxation, healthcare and education. This technology is aimed to strengthen government programs such as Jan-Dhan Yojana and E-Citizen services under the Digital India initiative.
It also has a wide range of applications in government’s initiatives like MNREGA schemes, public distribution system, direct benefit transfer and pension. The technology has already been implemented by the Andhra Pradesh government and we are expecting other state governments to come forward and leverage this revolutionary technology.
Iris recognition could also be used in other government-to-citizen services such as certification, registration, licensing and ID cards, where citizen authentication is imperative in order to control, mitigate and freeze loopholes.