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

11677 - Supreme Court hearing: Privacy non-negotiable under Aadhaar Act, says govt - Indian Express



Venugopal explained that “even demographic data is protected in Aadhaar...One doesn’t have to give phone number etc if they have apprehension of misuse”. Senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the “enrolling authority under Aadhaar were private parties and not the Government of India”.

Written by ANANTHAKRISHNAN G | New Delhi | Published:July 28, 2017 3:17 am

The government told the Supreme Court on Thursday that “privacy and confidentiality are non-negotiable under the Aadhaar Act”. (File)

The government told the Supreme Court on Thursday that “privacy and confidentiality are non-negotiable under the Aadhaar Act”. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) — nodal agency for implementing Aadhaar — conveyed this to a nine-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar during discussions on the safety of data collected for Aadhaar enrolment.
Justice S A Bobde, who is a part of the bench which also includes Justices J Chelameswar, S K Kaul, R F Nariman, A M Sapre, R K Agarwal, D Y Chandrachud and Abdul Nazeer, ticked off the debate wondering “is there a clause on protection of data in Aadhaar Act?” Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, answered in the affirmative and referred to Chapter VI of the Act which deals with “protection of information”.

Stretching the argument, Justice Chandrachud said, “If you have one billion (Aadhaar) cards and 80 million phone numbers, I don’t want the state to pass on my details to some 2000 service providers who will send WhatsApp messages everyday to buy ACs and all kinds of cosmetics.”

He continued: “No one is denying it (Aadhaar) is a social welfare measure. But it is vital commercial information for service providers. Do you have a robust mechanism? You must have a robust mechanism to ensure that this data does not go to those commercial service providers..”.
Venugopal explained that “even demographic data is protected in Aadhaar…One doesn’t have to give phone number etc if they have apprehension of misuse”. Senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the “enrolling authority under Aadhaar were private parties and not the Government of India”.

Justice Nariman took note of the chapter on “protection of information” in the Aadhaar Act and sought to know “is this not legislative recognition of privacy as a fundamental right”.
Mehta said it was not so but added that he will deal with the issue in detail later. UIDAI has already taken the stand that “though it (privacy) is a right and an enforceable right, (it is) not a fundamental right”.

A-G Venugopal, meanwhile, repeated what he formulated on Wednesday — that privacy could be a “wholly qualified fundamental right” though the Centre’s view was that every aspects of it should not be treated as a fundamental right. “Even assuming it is a fundamental right, it is a multi-faceted right and every facet will not automatically and ipso facto qualify to be a fundamental right”, he said.

On informational privacy, the AG said, “In any case where the fundamental right of others will be defeated if informational privacy is claimed, no such informational privacy can ever be a fundamental right.” Stating that the state had a “blanket power” against informational privacy, he said, “(The) state is entitled to ask for fingerprints and iris scans. No reason for denying that. But if (information sought for) is wholly irrelevant or uncharacteristic, then informational privacy kicks in. If it is information relevant to state, there is no question of privacy. For purpose of Aadhaar if it is asked whether you (subscriber) have (an) illegitimate affair, then it is wholly irrelevant.”

In other developments in the case, Maharashtra on Thursday opposed the demand to make privacy a fundamental right, saying the question was debated at the time of drafting the Constitution and dropped.

Senior Counsel A Sundaram, who represented the state, said: “Privacy is a statutory right, a common law right and constitutionally recognised right, but not a fundamental right.”

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