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.


Monday, May 15, 2017

11335 - Aadhaar mandatory or voluntary? Ahead of Supreme Court hearing, 63 per cent concerned about data leakage - India Today


A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court will decide whether Aadhaar can be made mandatory or not. Ahead of that hearing majority of people, in a survey, expressed concern about leakage of their Aadhaar data. However, 70 per cent participants were in favour of Aadhaar.
 | Edited by Prabhash K Dutta

New Delhi, May 13, 2017 | UPDATED 18:44 IS

HIGHLIGHTS
  • 1 - Sixty-three per cent people concerned about Aadhaar data security.

  • 2 - Seventy per cent support widening of Aadhaar ambit.

  • 3 - Supreme Court to decide whether Aadhaar will be mandatory.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea challenging various notifications of the Centre to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of government schemes.

The matter has been listed in the apex court for hearing on May 17. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar will hear the plea.

The same bench is currently hearing a batch of petitions challenging the practice of triple talaq.

But, ahead of Supreme Court's hearing, about 63 per cent people have expressed concern about the leakage of their Aadhaar data.

MAJORITY CONCERNED ABOUT PRIVACY
In a survey conducted by the LocalCircles - a citizen engagement platform - about 63 per cent of over 10,700 participants said that they were concerned about the leakage of their personal data given to Aadhaar into public domain.

In a statement, the LocalCircles said that "details of 13.5 crore Aadhaar accounts were published on a website highlighting vulnerabilities of the system. Also, Aadhaar of students of some Kendriya Vidyalaya schools were found on their websites."

This raises the question of misuse of personal data by people or groups with vested interests. According to the survey, many participants questioned the security mechanism of the regulatory body of Aadhaar - the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

WHERE IS THE PROBLEM?
The LocalCircles release said, "Some citizens outlined that vendors who make Aadhaar card have been selling information in the market."
On the other hand, the vendors enlisted their own problems in providing service to the people in accordance with the rules laid down by the UIDAI.
The vendors, the release said, "outlined various concerns including the costs that they incur to become a licensed Aadhaar operator, the high upfront equipment cost and the fact that the UIDAI payment of INR 100 per Aadhaar is usually quite delayed. Therefore it is not lucrative for them to be an operator unless they charge extra from citizens for making Aadhaar or find other ways to earn."

 However, 70 per cent of the participants of the survey extended their support to the government's emphasis on Aadhaar making it mandatory for filing tax returns and linking it to Permanent Account Number (PAN).

Approximately 70 per cent citizens support this move of the government while 27 per cent were against the idea.

ALL EYES ON SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court has repeatedly directed the government not to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes. First such ruling came in October 2015.

But, the apex court later amended its order saying that there was nothing wrong if government made the Aadhaar mandatory for income tax filing or linking with PAN.

Now, former chairperson of National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Shanta Sinha has filed a petition challenging various notifications of the government with regard to Aadhaar.

Senior lawyer Shyam Divan, appearing for Shanta Sinha said, "Despite the order of this court that Aadhaar will be voluntary and not mandatory, the government has been coming out with a series of notifications making it mandatory to avail benefits of schemes like scholarships, Right to Food and mid-day meal in schools."

Shanta Sinha's petition is one of the several petitions, challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar are pending in the apex court. The five-judge constitution bench, which is yet to be set up by the CJI, will hear the matter.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had passed a slew of orders asking the government and its agencies not to make Aadhaar mandatory for extending benefits of their welfare schemes.
The apex court, however, had allowed the Centre to seek Aadhaar card voluntarily from citizens from extending benefits of schemes like LPG subsidy, Jan Dhan scheme and Public Distribution System etc.

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