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.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

11745 - 20,000 Aadhaar numbers leaked on Punjab govt website - Hindustan Times


Ludhiana’s urban development website publishes list of those who applied for low-cost houses, displaying their names, their father’s name and their Aadhaar numbers. Links were removed later but PDF files remained online on Tuesday, a day after being pointed out.
PUNJAB Updated: Aug 08, 2017 23:29 Ist


Hindustan Times, Ludhiana

A Punjab government website exposed the Aadhaar numbers of more than 20,000 people who applied for low-cost housing in Ludhiana and Jagraon, the latest in a string of blunders by administrative officials that jeopardise citizen privacy.

Aadhaar, a 12-digit identity number, is linked to a person’s biometric details and has become increasingly mandatory for government services. Experts and activists have raised concerns over the risks to privacy it poses, and believe the country’s lackadaisical cyber security standards can put confidential information at risk of crimes such as identity theft.

India’s Supreme Court is currently in the process of determining whether the Aadhaar programme violates rights to privacy.
Around 20,100 Aadhaar numbers, the names of the people it belonged to and their father’s name were published on Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) website. The details were published as lists of applicants for EWS houses (homes for people from economically weaker sections) under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) programme, and of those who won the draw.

It was unclear how long the lists were up, but officials removed links leading to them on Monday when Hindustan Times brought it to their attention. The lists, while removed from the homepage, stayed online on the GLADA server and could be accessed by anyone who had the direct link.

According to Section 29 (4) of the Aadhaar Act, no Aadhaar number or core biometric information can be published, displayed or posted publicly, except for specified purposes.

District officials said the leak posed a threat to privacy. “If any government department has published a list of applicants with their Aadhaar numbers, their information can get leaked. It is a grave threat to the privacy of residents as Aadhaar information can be misused,” said Satish Thaman, member, Ludhiana district (west sub-division) grievances redressal committee.

Earlier, GLADA officials were unaware of how the Aadhaar numbers ended up online. “I will look into the matter,” additional chief administrator (ACA) Neeru Katyal Gupta said.
GLADA chief administrator Parminder Singh Gill said, “I have spoken to the official concerned who informed me that no Aadhaar card number was uploaded on the website. The GLADA’s website is being operated at the PUDA (Punjab Urban Development Authority) headquarters in Mohali. We are trying to contact the headquarters in this regard.”

Shortly afterwards, GLADA removed the links to both lists.
In April, more than a million Aadhaar numbers were leaked by a Jharkhand government website. Officials involved were similarly unaware of how the data made its way onto the public domain, prompting experts to point to a systemic flaw in India’s e-governance model.