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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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

11275 - No one can build Aadhaar users' profile: UIDAI chief - TNN


Mahendra Singh | TNN | Updated: May 7, 2017, 05.51 AM IST

In an exclusive interview with Mahendra Singh , Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey addresses concerns about Aadhaar's privacy and security systems. 

Critics say Aadhaar has a poorly verified database and questions are asked about generation of fake Aadhaar cards 

Aadhaar enrolment is done through registrars -- state government, banks, Common Service Centres (CSCs) which employ enrolment agencies empanelled by UIDAI. These agencies employ operators who are certified by UIDAI. Aadhaar enrolments are done only through a special customised software developed and provided by UIDAI. Every day operators have to log into the enrolment machine through Aadhaar number and fingerprints. Once an enrolment is done he has to sign through his biometrics. That moment the whole enrolment data is encrypted and can't be read by anyone other than the UIDAI server. So the Aadhaar enrolment system is very secure. 

If a person gives fake I-card and obtains a number? 
Suppose Ram Kumar fabricates his identity documents such as ration card or voter's ID card in the name of Shyam Kumar. However Ram will also need an Aadhaar card in his real name. When he goes to enrol in the name of Ram Kumar he will be rejected because his biometrics is already in the database. So if somebody has Aadhaar with a fake identity, then he will be stuck for his whole life with that fake identity. He will be caught very soon. Very few will dare to use fake Aadhaar identities to commit a crime of impersonation or money laundering. 

What if there is a terror act facilitated by use of fake Aadhaar cards? If bank accounts opened through fake Aadhaar cards are used for money laundering? 
It is wrong to assume that the authorities would rely only on Aadhaar for allowing access to all type of services. It does not mean that authorities are required to give up other necessary verifications. After having confirmed the identity of the person through Aadhaar, biometrics or OTP, authorities are at liberty to prescribe additional checks . For example, If a person opens a bank account with his Aadhaar card and wants to undertake high value transactions, banks should do additional checks. 

Further, for the sake of argument assume a person is able to open a bank account with an Aadhaar card with a fake name and address and launders money or commits some crime or terror acts...he could do the same through a fake voter ID card or ration card as well. The only difference is that if he has used his Aadhaar card, it will be easier for investigating agencies to trace the culprits and conspirators and bring them to justice. If the person had used his fake ration card, the authorities would find it much harder to trace him and will hit a dead end in many cases. 

Alleged leaks of Aadhaar numbers has caused concern among people.... 
Some agencies of central or state governments have been putting up details of their beneficiaries state-wise, district-wise, village-wise through a search menu as required under the RTI Act. Now IT Act and Aadhaar Act are there. They impose restrictions on publication of Aadhaar numbers, bank account, and other personal details. As soon as it came to notice that some agencies were displaying Aadhaar numbers and bank account numbers of beneficiaries in a search menu, they were told to remove them and they complied. Remember that no biometrics was displayed. Therefore to say that Aadhaar has been breached, 13 crore people's privacy is endangered is completely incorrect, misleading and even irresponsible. 

If someone comes to know my Aadhaar number should I be concerned? 
Aadhaar number, bank account number and mobile numbers are not secret. They are, sensitive personal identity information. Secret numbers are your PIN, passwords etc. While these should not be shared, one can give his sensitive personal identity information such as bank account number and Aadhaar number to others for transactional purposes. When you write a cheque, it will have your bank account number. Just because some one knows your bank account number, it will be wrong to assume he will be able to hack your bank account. If someone knows your Aadhaar number, it will be wrong to assume he will be able to hack your Aadhaar-linked bank account. 

Section 7 of Aadhaar Act ensures that no one will be denied benefits because of not having Aadhaar. But notifications mandate Aadhaar in contravention of this provision. 

Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act is very clear that if a subsidy is to be given from the Consolidated Fund of India then the government can ask for Aadhaar number. If he doesn't have Aadhaar then beneficiary can be mandated to enrol for Aadhaar and till then benefits shall have to be given through alternative means of identification.

There is fear that Aadhaar will allow government agencies to play big brother
Aadhaar Act ensures the following three fundamental principles - minimal data, optimal ignorance and federated databases. 

Aadhaar enrolment collects minimal data that is name, address, date of birth, gender and biometrics. We don't ask income, religion, profession, caste. etc. The principles also ensure no agency -- UIDAI, government or for that matter any department or agency is able to track and profile any individual. For example, a person may use his Aadhaar number for obtaining a SIM card, opening a bank account, and receiving PDS benefits. But the telecom company will not have any information about bank details or PDS benefits. Similarly, the bank will not know his SIM cards details and PDS benefits. UIDAI or any agency will not have any of the three bits of information - bank details, SIM cards and PDS benefits. There can be no 360 degree view of any of customers or beneficiaries. Each agency remains optimally ignorant, which is very useful for privacy protection. Section 29 prohibits any attempt to link different databases. 

Can police ask for it?
No. There are strong protection against it in the Aadhaar Act which prohibits sharing of biometrics with anyone including police authorities. So far as sharing of non-biometric information available with UIDAI is concerned, they can be shared only if a district judge permits. Unauthorised sharing of information, including a government agency is a criminal offence with jail up to three years