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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Saturday, August 5, 2017

11716 - SC proposes three-tier approach to privacy: Intimate, private and public - New Bytes


03 Aug 2017 | By Gogona Saikia

The SC, during its hearing on whether privacy is a fundamental right, has formulated a three-tier approach to the question by classifying privacy into intimate, private and public.

According to the nine-judge bench, the 'intimate' zone is concerned with aspects like marriage and sexuality, where the state has minimal right of interference.

The scope of regulation is somewhat more in the other two zones.

The first zone: The zone of 'intimate' privacy
Justice DY Chandrachud said, "The first zone could be the most intimate zone of privacy concerning marriage, sexuality, relations with family, and the law should frown upon intrusion. The state could still intrude into this intimate zone in extraordinary circumstances provided it met stringent norms."

The second and the third zones
The private zone would involve "parting of personal data by use of credit card, social networking platforms, I-T declarations etc". The data will be used only for the specific purpose meant.

The public zone, meanwhile, is one where privacy needs minimal regulation. "Personal data shared will not mean the right to privacy is surrendered. The individual will retain his privacy to body and mind."

SC acknowledges role of service sector in defining 'privacy'
The bench also acknowledged the "critical" service sector, "which depends on personal data of Indians using a particular service". "The analysis of choices and personal preferences of 1.4 billion and the analysis of this generates demand in the service sector," Justice Chandrachud observed.

Questions
Arguments from the other side
Appearing for Gujarat, advocate Rakesh Dwivedi asked that if US considered privacy as a fundamental right, "how could US forces invade privacy of a house to eliminate Laden?"
He agreed that privacy was intrinsic to other rights, but if it is, "where's the necessity of defining it as a standalone fundamental right?"
According to Dwivedi, "privacy is a fluid term incapable of being defined".

Different sides
Aadhaar and the debate on privacy
The current hearing is concerned with the misuse of biometric information held by UIDAI. The government justifies its push for Aadhaar (contrary to SC guidelines) stating its role in plugging gaps in subsidy schemes and ensuring benefits reach intended targets.
The UIDAI controversially argued that privacy is not a constitutional right and has assured that Aadhaar data won't be used for surveillance.