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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Thursday, May 4, 2017

11226 - Changes coming in IT Act to address security concerns over Aaadhar - The Hindu


NEW DELHI MAY 02, 2017 21:45 IST



Official promises end to security fears

To address privacy and security concerns over Aadhaar, the Union government is in the process of educating government agencies that sensitive data must not be made public, and is drafting amendments to the Information Technology (IT) Act to strengthen the provisions for data protection and security.

Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Union Electronics and Information Technology Ministry, told The Hindu that besides privacy issues, the new IT law would quell security concerns related to digital payments,

Her comments assume significance as Aadhaar’s original architect and former Infosys CEO, Nandan Nilekani, recently mooted need for strong data protection and privacy laws to ensure citizen data in the Unique Identification (UID) database is not misused.

Plugging data leakage
Close to 135 million Aadhaar numbers and 100 million bank account numbers could have leaked from official portals dealing with government programmes of pensions and rural 
employment, according to a report published on Monday by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS). With Aadhaar being used to authenticate and authorise transactions, the financial risks presented by the disclosure of such data are greatly exacerbated, it said.

“Actually, Aadhaar has very strong privacy regulation built into it... But the area we are working on is enforcement,” Ms. Sundararajan said.

“People are not aware that so a large number of government agencies are making available all this sensitive data. So now, the process is to educate them so that they become aware that Aadhaar data is not meant to be published like this freely,” she said.

“No Aadhaar data can be shared with anybody or be used for anything purpose other than for which it was collected. There are several limitations imposed by the Act,” she pointed out.

As per the CIS report, the data in question has not been treated as confidential at all in several cases and the government agencies in question have, in fact, taken pains to publish them. ''These are wilful and intentional instances of treating Aadhaar numbers and other personally identifiable information (PII) as publicly shareable data by the custodians of the data,” the CIS report noted.
“Some of the amendments we are bringing to the IT Act should take care of the rest of the [privacy and data protection] concerns relating to Aadhaar,” Ms. Sundararajan said. The key focus of these amendments being drafted, she said, was strengthening data protection provisions and security, particularly in relation to digital payments.

“For security, draft regulations have already been framed for e-wallets. We expect to finalise those soon. And now, we are working on a data protection framework,” she said.
   
While Aadhaar-enabled payments and the Bhim app are seeing the maximum growth in transactions, Ms Sundrarajan said there were still some challenges in making them easy to use. “We expect the next version of Bhim to be released by the National Payments Corporation of India [NPCI] in June. With each version, we are trying to make the user experience simpler,” she observed.

The CIS report, titled ‘Information Security Practices of Aadhaar (or lack thereof): A documentation of public availability of Aadhaar Numbers with sensitive personal financial information,’ pointed out that Aadhaar data leaked could be higher than its estimate.  

 “…Other major schemes, who have also used Aadhaar for direct benefit transfer [DBT] could have leaked PII similarly due to lack of information security practices. Over 23 crore beneficiaries have been brought under Aadhaar programme for DBT and if a significant number of schemes have mishandled data in a similar way, we could be looking at a data leak closer to that number,” it noted.