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.


Friday, June 16, 2017

11532 - Centre’s Aadhaar affidavit in Supreme Court: ‘Welfare of masses trumps privacy of elite’ - The Hindu



NEW DELHI, JUNE 09, 2017 23:39 IST

A handful of people not affected by Aadhaar Act are questioning it and consequently, the benefits it gives to poor: Centre
Calling Aadhaar a “transformational homegrown IT project”, the Centre said on Friday that the fundamental right of identity and various e-governance initiatives of the government to provide food security, livelihood, jobs and health to the “teeming masses” cannot be sacrificed at the altar of right to privacy of an “elite” few who have neither applied for nor want Aadhaar.

The affidavit was the government’s response to petitions filed by several persons, including former NCPCR chairperson and Magsaysay winner Shanta Sinha, against 17 government notifications allegedly making Aadhaar mandatory to access welfare schemes and benefits after June 30, 2017.
The Centre, represented by advocate Zoheb Hossain, called the petition a “classic case” where a handful of individuals not aggrieved by the Aadhaar Act were questioning its vires and consequently, the benefits it gave to the poor.
The standard definition of ‘human rights’ as protection of individual freedom against state intrusion required a radical revision, the government argued. Human rights went beyond the right to be left alone or the right to privacy.

Targets petitioners



“Human rights are based on a far richer view of freedom, which goes beyond being left alone, and instead pays attention to individuals’ ability to exercise their rights. The petitioners’ argument fails to consider positive duties on the state, which reflects the elite nature of the petitioners, who are more concerned with rights of privacy over, say, right to food, or right to receive targeted subsidised LPG,” the government said, attacking the petitioners, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan and advocate Vipin Nair.

The government said the petitioners did not represent the larger population of India which had embraced Aadhaar.
“This is demonstrated from the fact that more than 115.15 crore residents of India, which is equal to 95.10 % of the entire population, have already enrolled and been allocated Aadhaar number,” the government said.
The Centre contended that the number issued under the Aadhaar Act of 2016 enforced the right to identity and was instrumental in fulfilment of several fundamental rights of the poor.

No deadline
The government said that though the notifications required people to enrol for Aadhaar by June 30, 2017 to avail welfare and benefits, this was not a deadline. They could enrol or register their request for Aadhaar at the nearest centre before June 30, and such persons could continue to access benefits through alternative means of identification till they obtained an Aadhaar number.
Dismissing claims that mass Aadhaar enrolment was a precursor to a ‘surveillance state’, the government said that “by design, the technology architecture of the UIDAI precludes even the possibility of profiling individuals for tracking their activities including the purpose for which they may have used Aadhaar.”

“As a matter of policy and by design, the UIDAI precludes itself from aggregating information arising from the use of Aadhaar, tracking and profiling individuals and the system by intent is blind to the purpose for which Aadhaar may be used at the front end by the resident. Aadhaar is designed on the basis of principles of minimal data, optimal ignorance, and federated database, which will prevent UIDAl, government or agency to track and profile individuals,” the government said.