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, July 25, 2017

11630 - Aadhaar and right to privacy: Why India has to set tone as the largest digital democracy - Indian Express


In the digital age, with more and more users coming online by the day, it is set to have a huge impact on the digital user and their confidence to stay online.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Updated: July 21, 2017 7:24 pm









 Legal experts believe such a right protects personal liberties and its absence can allow a possible surveillance mechanism by both the state and private players.

The debate around Aadhaar and right to privacy has intensified over the past few days. A nine-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is deliberating whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right or not. Even as the matter is decided, the state is moving swiftly ahead with the Aadhaar project and mandating the public to enroll and link Aadhaar to various personal entities that arguably encroach on the right of privacy of an individual. Legal experts believe such a right protects personal liberties and its absence can allow a possible surveillance mechanism by both the state and private players.
In the digital age, Aadhaar and the push for digital India means a world where the government and private players could have maximum access to your personal information, communication, whereabouts, financial dealings, day-to-day transactions, purchases’ history and other data that you would want to keep to yourself or to a selected audience. In the digital age, with more and more users coming online by the day, it is set to have a huge impact on the digital user and their confidence to stay online.
Raman Chima, co-founder of Save the Internet Foundation and and global policy director at digital rights advocacy group Access Now, pointed out that according to laws like the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, states do monitoring but after passing certain tests of necessity. “Specific surveillance or monitoring if done after passing those certain tests laid down in our fundamental rights is reasonable.” He added that “mass surveillance, on the other hand, would not be something that would be acceptable.”
“India is the largest digital democracy, having the second largest internet userbase in the world after China. Hence, privacy on the internet also assumes importance. As more and more people come online, they would be less aware of how much of their private data is being collected by either the government or private organisations,” Chima said, adding that as a result the individual must the power to limit or control that collection and prevent the misuse of that information.
According to Mishi Choudhary, president and founder of Software Freedom Law Centre, “In the age of biometric identification, social profiles, and cashless economic transactions, not having such a right damages an essential component of all personal liberties and other fundamental rights that we have which cannot be freely exercised. This leaves the possibility of a surveillance mechanism both by private companies as well as the government.”
The apex court is hearing the matter of existence of fundamental right of privacy with regards to the case Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and others versus Union of India and others. The court on Thursday questioned the reservations to allow government access to private data when people surrender such information to private players easily. However, the question of autonomy seems to play out in such circumstances.
“If a person voluntarily gives up some information to avail some subsidy, that should not affect their right to privacy but such data should be used only for the purpose its been collected, only by persons who are authorised to access it and must be secured,” Mishi said, adding, “Privacy, particularly when we talk about the net, really means three–secrecy, anonymity and autonomy. These three are the principal components privacy. With respect to each, further consideration shows that it is a precondition to the order that we call “democracy”, “ordered liberty”, “self-government”, to the particular scheme that we call in the United States “constitutional freedom.”
The issue of protection of collected demographic and biometric data by the Aadhaar issuing UIDAI and liability is also confidence-bearing. Since the Aadhaar was passed as a money bill and as a result, UIDAI and its agencies were not given corporate entity status. Hence, they can’t be held liable or prosecuted. The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 doesn’t allow a person to go to court if his or her data is misused or leaked. Only the UIDAI has that authority. Furthermore, the person can’t demand access to their data as well. Aadhar was passed as a money bill so it is not giving the corporate entity status UIDAI and its agencies so that they can be held liable and prosecuted.
On July 19, 2017, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology P.P. Chaudhary said in a written reply in Lok Sabha that “there has been no leakage of Aadhaar data from UIDAI. However, it was found that around 210 websites of Central Government, State Government, Departments including educational institutes were displaying the list of beneficiaries along with their name, address, other details and Aadhaar numbers for information of general public.”