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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Saturday, April 22, 2017

11096 - How does Aadhaar threaten you? - Economic Times

Future Designer, Professor, Thought Leader








Aadhaar enrollment was completely outsourced to private parties with the sole aim of building the world’s largest biometric database.

Apr 11, 2017, 12.18 AM IST

In a recent interview with Vir Sanghvi, Nandan Nilekani said that getting Aadhaar was not like getting AIDS. I’m not sure if Mr. Nilekani knows that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the inability to recognise the self from non-self. The result is the body produces antibodies (protective mechanism) against itself.

Getting Aadhaar is very much like getting AIDS. The government can no longer distinguish citizens from residents. It cannot distinguish legal residents from illegal residents. As in the failure of an immune system to recognise a foreign invasion from the self, the government makes more and more uses of Aadhaar mandatory loosing reason and ability to protect citizens and ensuring their well being.

What Mr. Nilekani fails to state is the difference between the enrolment and use models of the Aadhaar in comparison with any other ID that make it eerily like AIDS.

Aadhaar enrolment was completely outsourced to private parties with the sole aim of building the world’s largest biometric database.

Needless to say anyone in possession of your documents could enroll with minor changes in any demographic information. Field stories of enrolments are full with descriptions of biometric “jugaad” including using combination of persons, use of biometric masks, biometric modifications, and other ingenious methods to maximize registrations. The Aadhaar enrolment has been unlike that of any other identity document, easily scaling the creation of duplicate and ghost identities.

Unlike the Passport Officer, the RTO, the Electoral Officer, the CEO of UIDAI does not take any legal liability to certify the number as a proof of anyone’s identity, address or existence. Furthermore no one has verified or audited the database to establish how many of the billion numbers that are linked to data submitted by the outsourced parties are real individuals.
The resulting Aadhaar database is the database being used to “purify”, as described by Ajay Bhushan Pandey the CEO of UIDAI, all databases that are seeded with Aadhaar. The seeding of other databases with the Aadhaar number is also unlike any other identification document. This seeding threatens to exclude the genuine and include the fake into other existing databases by seeding Aadhaar to other databases. The case of over 13,000 fake employees in Satyam’s who got salaries every month for years before being exposed is still fresh in India.
As the government embarks to link the entire Consolidated Fund of India’s receipts and expenditure to this database, is it not reasonable to establish some CAG certificate on the existence of every person in this database?

Mr. Nilekani has often highlighted the use of biometric to authenticate who you are as the core strength of the Aadhaar database. What he fails to state is that even if biometric could uniquely establish your identity uniquely throughout your life, which it cannot, its use for authentication is absurd.

Once stolen, your biometric can be used, in a multiple of ways differing in simplicity and ease, by the thief, to perpetuate crimes that will be attributed to you and may be difficult, if not impossible, for you to deny.

It is precisely this difference between the enrolment and use models of the Aadhaar in comparison with any other ID are a threat to you as well as the nation.

Here are just 5 reasons, that follow from these differences and you may not have heard of, why the continued use of Aadhaar is a threat to you.

One, all your rights, benefits and entitlements will be subject to your Aadhaar working and not being disabled by intention or error. Already huge number of those who have an Aadhaar have been denied their rights, benefits or entitlements for these reasons. To date more than 85 lakh Aadhaar numbers have been disabled by the UIDAI without assigning reasons.

Two, those without an Aadhaar are being treated as unequals, often with denial to their rights, entitlements and benefits. For example the IT department does not process the returns or refunds of non-Aadhaar taxpayers in the same way as those of persons with an Aadhaar.

Three, Aadhaar will be a single point of failure to declare your "civil death”. This means you will be removed from all government registers and cease to exist as far as the government is concerned.

Four, Aadhaar will turn the government official to your master, rather than being your servant. Anytime, even when not needed, you could be asked for Aadhaar or your authentication be sabotaged to deny you dignity and equality besides your entitlements.

Five, Aadhaar will be the single point for fraudsters to hack your identity, commit crime and rob you of your property, dignity, liberty, equality and access to justice. Bank accounts opened using your Aadhaar, property transactions, purchases, registration of contracts in your identity will no longer be in your control or with your knowledge and traceability. Because the use of your stored biometric in these instances will leave little deniability, if you are accused of these acts, it will destroy your right to justice.

Here are just 5 reasons why the continued use of Aadhaar is a threat to the nation.

One, Aadhaar allows terrorists, criminals to create millions of fake identities, duplicates and use them to park black money, park bribes, finance terror and siphon subsidies and funds from the Consolidated Fund of India. The Aadhaar is not certified by any government official. The Aadhaar database has never been verified or audited by anyone.

Two, Aadhaar allows infiltration of the country, even its defence services, with terrorists and anti-nationals causing a national security threat.

Three, Aadhaar destroys our ability to distinguish a citizen from an illegal immigrant. All documents like passport, drivers licenses etc can be obtained by using Aadhaar that can be illegally obtained with fake documents. It is therefore like the disease AIDS for the country.

Four, Politically exposed persons can be framed of crimes, by using their stored biometric and Aadhaar, that have no deniability. This will be a way to disable judges from granting justice, politicians from contesting elections, and industrialists from retaining business control.

Five, Aadhaar can change voting lists, voter preferences and provide such controls through outsourcing and privatisation of enrolment and authentication to “interests” within or outside the country thus destroying the sovereignty of the people, the democratic process and the republic of India.

What is the life situation where you cannot be identified by your own assertion of who you are? What is the life situation where you can't be identified by an introduction from a common friend? What is the life situation where you cannot be identified from the photograph on an id issued to you by the very agency that issued you the photo id?

Are fait acompli of having created a billion numbers, huge sums having been spent reasons enough to continue to flog a program that is endangering you and India alike?


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and ETtech.com does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETtech.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.

Dr. Anupam Saraph is a renowned expert in governance of complex systems and advises governments and businesses across the world.