The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Thursday, April 20, 2017

11078 - I’m all for a robust privacy law, but don’t make it like Aadhaar is the only reason we need it: Nandan Nilekani - Team Factor Daily

Team FactorDaily April 19, 2017

India’s ambitious unique identification number project is tumbling from one controversy into another.

In March, it sneakily inserted into a fast-tracked budget bill a rule that requires taxpayers to link their income tax number with Aadhaar. This goes against the Supreme Court ruling of August, 2015 that said Aadhaar can’t be made mandatory for any government service.

On top of that, the government has made consistent efforts to link welfare schemes like midday meals to the Aadhaar system. Instances like that of Bhopal gas tragedy victims being asked Aadhar cards for availing benefits have spawn outrage.

Then there are privacy concerns. Recently, Aadhaar data of former cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s was leaked on twitter by a sanctioned enrolment agency.

“I find this disingenuous; it makes me feel there’s some other motive (of those raising the issues)” — Nandan Nilekani,  
However, the man behind Aadhaar and former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Nandan Nilekani, is unfazed by the backlash. Iterating that he’s a big advocate of privacy and security, he says, “I’m all for a very modern and robust data protection and privacy law. But don’t make it as if Aadhaar is the reason for the law. I find this disingenuous; it makes me feel there’s some other motive (of those raising the issues).”

Nilekani adds that the government has ensured privacy and security in the very design of Aadhaar. “The fact that we limited the data collected by the Aadhaar system to only name, address, sex, date of birth and email ID, that was privacy by design. As was the fact that the Aadhaar system would be limited to KOYC and authentication,” he says.

“I have no evidence at all that Aadhaar was made for surveillance, and I’ve been in the government. The law is very clear — it states that your biometrics can’t be shared under any circumstances, not even for national security. It’s a very very tight law” — Nilekani  

What about surveillance concerns?
There are enough checks and balances to ensure Aadhaar is not misused, says Nilekani. “I have no evidence at all that Aadhaar was made for surveillance, and I’ve been in the government. The law is very clear — it states that your biometrics can’t be shared under any circumstances, not even for national security. It’s a very very tight law.”

He says Aadhaar has weathered all the controversies it has triggered because of the “humongous” benefits it offers, primary among them being its “uniqueness”, which has “enabled the elimination of ghosts and duplicates from all kinds of government schemes.”

Tune into the podcast to hear more about the journey of Aadhaar from the man who designed it.

Lead photograph: FactorDaily

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