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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Monday, July 31, 2017

11672 - IIT graduate, his firm booked for hacking Aadhaar data - Indian Express


The UIDAI complaint is linked to the KYC app that was placed by Qarth on Google Play Store late last year with the claim that it would help businesses validate Aaadhar numbers by verifying “customer Aadhaar number, address, mobile number, date of birth on the fly”.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru | Updated: July 29, 2017 4:52 am

An IIT-Kharagpur graduate allegedly accessed the UIDAI’s central information depository to create and operate a private app called Aadhaar ‘eKYC Verification’. (Representational Image)

The Unique Identity Development Authority of India (UIDAI) has lodged a complaint against an IIT-Kharagpur graduate and his mobile-payment company for allegedly accessing its central information depository to create and operate a private app called Aadhaar ‘eKYC Verification’. In a complaint lodged with Bengaluru Police on July 26, a deputy director at the UIDAI’s regional office in Bengaluru accused Abhinav Srivastava and Qarth Technologies Pvt Ltd, which he started on the IIT-Kharagpur campus in 2012, of developing the app to illegally access Aadhaar data.

Police have registered a case and asked its cyber crime unit to probe the allegation.

In his complaint, UIDAI official Ashok Lenin alleged that the illegal usage of Aadhaar data occurred between January 1, 2017 and July 26, 2017.

Qarth Technologies, which runs a mobile payments app called X-Pay, was acquired by taxi hailing service Ola in March 2017 to strengthen its mobile wallet unit Ola Money.

Records accessed by The Indian Express from the Registrar of Companies (RoC) and the public online profiles of the accused have revealed that Qarth was started in October 2012 by Srivastava and a batchmate Prerit Srivastava — both belonged to the 2004-2009 batch at IIT-Kharagpur.

Abhinav described himself on Linkedin as an “Hacker” at Ola, and Prerit posted that he was involved with products at Ola. The police complaint lists Abhinav’s address at Indiranagar in Bengaluru.

Company records show that Qarth was set up with a share capital of Rs 1 lakh and is in the process of winding up after recording losses to the tune of Rs 37,157 with the last RoC filing done at the end of 2016.

The UIDAI complaint is linked to the KYC app that was placed by Qarth on Google Play Store late last year with the claim that it would help businesses validate Aaadhar numbers by verifying “customer Aadhaar number, address, mobile number, date of birth on the fly”.

According to screenshots of the app — it is no longer available on Google Play Store — it was developed under an initiative called myGov by Qarth. Till June 1, 2017, the app had between 50,000 to 1 lakh users, according to data from the Play Store.

Reviewer comments on the app included appreciation and criticism. “This App will be very useful for self and family members verification purpose,” one user posted. Another asked, “Even though it is working, who is giving the authorisation to the developer to use myGov name? How is the developer getting details from Aadhaar?’’

The app also carried a disclaimer: “This is not an official application from Ministry of Unique Identification Authority of India and is no way endorsed by the Government of India. Moreover, we don’t store any of your Aadhaar data on our server. The app is well-funded by ads and we don’t need to reuse user’s Aadhaar data in any form’’.

According to UIDAI sources, the app was allegedly accessing Aadhaar data without authorisation, which emerged during internal security processes involving the scanning of the system for usage of authentication data.

Police sources said it was not yet clear how the accused managed to access the central information depository to verify the identities of people through the app.

“We are hoping the police will help us identify how it was done when they arrest the suspects. The investigation is on and we would not like to comment. However, there has been no breach, no leakage and no theft of data. and we have been able to maintain the security,’’ said an a UIDAI official.

The unique identity data in the central information depository of UIDAI is stored in two separate fields for demographic and biometric data. The app from Qarth appears to have accessed demographic data, such as address, email and phone numbers of individuals whose Aadhaar number and name or mobile number was fed on the app.

“There is a fear that somebody figured out a way through the code to get easy access to the central depository of identities. This is a source of concern. It is also possible that somebody who worked with authentication data at a basic or higher level may have held on to security keys without knowledge of authorities,’’ said police sources.

“We do not know the number of people whose unique identity was verified using this app. It is a highly technical investigation and it has only begun,’’ said a senior officer of Bengaluru Police.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Ram Prasad, an independent software developer and hacker, said that developers may have left some loopholes in the security code for authentication of UIDs, which allowed access to the central depository.
However, an UIDAI official claimed that the loophole could have been left at the end of some field agency involved with collection of Aadhaar data.

“This is not the same story as the case where the personal details of cricketer M S Dhoni was revealed in public through an Aadhaar agency. This involves accessing the UIDAI data without authorisation,’’ said a police officer.