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.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

11176 - Aadhaar-based POS transactions raise privacy concerns - TNN


Rachel Chitra & Ranjani Ayyar | TNN | Apr 28, 2017, 04.00 AM IST

Chennai: The proliferation of Aadhaar-based payments has lead to a lot of questions being raised on privacy. Will your local mobile recharge vendor or a petty shop owner have access to all your data? What if your biometrics get hacked? 

Such questions are among those that the UIDAI has to answer as it steams ahead with facilitating Aadhaar based transactions on India's 25 lakh plus PoS terminals. 

Data Security Council of India CEO Rama Vedashree flagged some concerns, when she told TOI, "When Aadhaar enabled payment systems proliferates, host of data is deployed at merchants of which some can be phone-based, some through PoS devices. When an entire ecosystem is so closely connected, security by design becomes default."

Cyber-security experts have for long held that PoS machines are usually the easiest target for hacks. "For every one ATM hack, we see 20 PoS machine frauds. Many of the complaints we receive are from customers, who had their data compromised, by using their debit cards at petrol bunks, shopping malls and cinema theatres," said P Ravi Sekharan, assistant commissioner, cyber crime cell, Chennai City Police. 

Another issue is that an Aadhaar hack has far more grave implications than a debit card hack. "When debit card data is hacked, there is a considerable financial loss - but it stops there. Your entire life is not in someone else's hands. But with Aadhaar now being linked to PAN, GST registration, civil supplies' amenities, ration card, an Aadhaar data theft could have drastic impact and completely paralyse someone's life," said a cyber crime official, who did not want to be identified. With decoders, skimmers, machine readers stealing customer data has become all too easy. When Aadhaar was conceptualised, it was meant to facilitate direct benefit transfers. However, it has metamorphed into an enabler for digital payments and this has cyber secuirty experts concerned.

"If your Facebook or bank account is hacked, you can reset your password. But when your fingerprints are stolen, there is no reset. They are permanent identification markers, and once snagged, it is out of your control. When your gym, mobile phone company, and doctor all have your biometric details, remediation of the hack will prove difficult, if not impossible," said Nitin Bhatnagar, cyber security consultant.

With NPCI, UIDAI pushing hard for en masse adoption for digital payments, many companies including IT majors like TCS have jumped on the bandwagon with its recent launch of MerchantPay, an Aadhaar based payment solution. And the pro-Aadhar adoption crowd is vehement that all security concerns have been addressed. "We looked at this solution during demonetisation. Existing payment solutions need one to have a debit card or an android phone. MerchantPay is built as a multi channel solution so it can support Aadhaar based payments or the standard gateways," said Ravi Viswanathan, president - south markets, TCS, which has four banks onboard and is piloting the solution with 13 others.

From a security perspective, Viswanathan says these are in the realms of any technology. The system offers multiple levels of authentication to ensure secuirty. We are offering built in control for banks and their customers which will have checks in place," he said.