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.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

11622 - In Aadhaar and WhatsApp cases, Centre takes different views on privacy - The Hindu


NEW DELHI,JULY 21, 2017 17:02 IST

In WhatsApp case, Centre tells Supreme Court protection of data integral to a citizen's personal life is part of his fundamental right to life and dignity.

Protection of data integral to a citizen's personal life is part of his fundamental right to life and dignity, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Friday.

Any sharing of personal data by a service provider or a social media platform that impinges on a person's right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution requires regulation, the government submitted before a five-judge Constitution Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra.

The Bench is hearing a petition filed by students led by Karmanya Singh Sareen alleging that a data-sharing contract entered into between Facebook and instant messaging platform WhatsApp in 2016 is a violation of the citizens' right to privacy. This data includes photographs, messages, pictures shared by the users on WhatsApp.

"Data connected to my personality is an integral part of my life with dignity... so if any contractual obligations impinge on Article 21, then that needs to be regulated," Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha contended.

Incidentally, the stand taken by the Centre in this WhatsApp case does not gel with its position before Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar-led nine-judge Constitution Bench, which is now examining whether the right of a citizen to remain private and to not part with his personal information or data to neither the State nor private parties is absolute and fundamental to his dignity and liberty.

The nine-judge Bench was convened to decide on the question of privacy on a referral from a five-judge Bench hearing the Aadhaar case.

The petitioners in the Aadhaar case have argued that citizens should not be compelled by the State to suffer the indignity of being made to part with their personal data like biometric details to access welfare and benefits due to them by right.
The Centre has maintained in the Aadhaar case that privacy or the "right to be left alone" is not a fundamental right under the Constitution, but only a common law right which can be subject to State intervention.

In the hour-long hearing in the WhatsApp case, senior advocate Kapil Sibal argued that his client employs end-to-end encryption and has no scope of interference by a third party.


The Bench, also comprising Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Amitava Roy and M. Shantanagoudar, has scheduled the case for hearing on September 6.