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

11232 - Yes, Aadhaar Data Were Leaked: Centre to Supreme Court - News 18


Updated: May 3, 2017, 6:05 PM IST

The picture featuring Camp for Aadhar Card on April 12, 2013 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Priyanka Parashar/Mint via Getty Images)

New Delhi: The Central government on Wednesday admitted in the Supreme Court that Aadhaar card holders’ data were indeed leaked, but maintained that there was no leakage by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Arguing for the government, advocate Arghya Sengupta told a bench led by Justice A K Sikri that the leakage was by various other government departments and state agencies. Sengupta said the leakage might have occurred on account of balancing transparency and data protection concerns.

As Justice Sikri pointed out that there were reports in the newspapers even on Wednesday about leakage of Aadhaar data, Sengupta said there could be some errors here and there and some IDs were perhaps issued in the names of ‘Hanuman’ and dogs but UID remains the most sophisticated and authentic biometric system.

Sengupta was defending the government’s new law that makes Aadhaar mandatory for having PAN cards and also for filing Income Tax returns. He said the legislature was competent to enact Section 139AA, which was inserted in the Income Tax Act under the Finance Act, 2017.

“There is no absolute right to informational self-determination,” said Sengupta as he added the issue was not about discriminating between people on the basis of their having Aadhaar, but the purpose for UID was to prevent de-duplication and to ensure targeted delivery of services to the identified sections.

Stating that no enactment could solve a problem in entirety, the lawyer contended that only individuals and not companies were required to have Aadhaar since individuals were the first target. “Tomorrow, we may replace PAN with Aadhaar if such a need arises,” he added.

Senior lawyer Shyam Divan, who represents the PIL petitioner in the matter, rebutted Sengupta’s argument, saying it was not enough for the Centre to say that UIDAI was not leaking data. “In the eyes of citizen, all state authorities are State anyway,” he asserted.

Appearing for retired Major General S G Vombatkere and social activist Bezwada Wilson, Divan questioned how the Finance Act could make getting Aadhaar mandatory when the Aadhaar Act said obtaining UID was completely voluntary.


“This scheme makes whole-time surveillance – from cradle to the grave – possible. This is perhaps the worst project possible under our Constitution. Entire architecture of Aadhaar is worthless as far as information security is concerned. We are concerned with one-seventh of the total population of the world in the wake of a scheme where degree of invasion is extremely high and protection much low,” said Divan.

He said nobody can tell him not to make a big deal of concerns about a person’s rights. “Civil rights movement was started by a woman who was made to sit at the back of a bus. Nobody asked her to make a big deal of this,” added Divan.

The arguments in the case remained inconclusive and would resume on Thursday.