Aadhaar

The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Friday, January 26, 2018

12784 - As Aadhaar project enters a critical year, here are the worries that still remain - Economic Times

ET CONTRIBUTORS|

By V Sridhar & T K Srikanth 

The UIDAI has responded with major revisions, in response to various criticisms on the security and privacy issues related to Aadhaar. The very first circular of the year from UIDAI Authentication Division on January 10 outlines the implementation of virtual ID (VID), unique identification (UID) token, and electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) norms. Of all problems cited, aggregation of information and secondary use of of Aadhaar details are most prominent. Aggregation is the gathering together of information about a person. 

A piece of information here or there is not very telling. However, when combined together, data begin to form a portrait of a person. The Aadhaar number by itself does not tell anything. But when used to link various information such as mobile number, bank account, driver's licence and Permanent Account Number (PAN), the aggregated information can completely profile the individual. UIDAI has responded to this concern by creating the VID that is transient and not permanent. 

The concept of the UID token generated is based on the VID of the user for each Authentication User Agency (AUA). The UID token is non-transient and is a function of the Aadhaar number, so that it can be used for de-duplication within the domain of the AUA. Say, if each bank is an AUA, de-duplication, if required, can be done within the same bank, but not across banks. 

The UID token also removes the problem related to 'secondary use of information' — the use of data for purposes unrelated to the purposes for which the data was initially collected without the data subject's consent. Since the UID token is valid only within the AUA, sharing it across AUAs is harmless. It can't be used for purposes other than what it is intended for. 

The UIDAI needs to educate Aadhaar holders about the importance of VID, how and when to revoke and generate new ones. 

The primary concern is regarding the onus and responsibility of AUAs that collect and submit Aadhaar numbers/VIDs to the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) for authentication. While the Aadhaar Act clearly specifies the responsibilities of AUAs, it is time that AUAs strictly adhere to the 'informed consent' principle. It's time that AUAs self-regulate themselves in the use and disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) such as photographs, names and Aadhaar number/VID. 

Though the UIDAI has a process for granting AUAs, and publishing the list of live AUAs on its website, the list should be easily accessible and searchable, perhaps through an Aadhaar mobile app, so that if individuals need to verify the authenticity of AUA, it can be done quickly. The UIDAI shall carefully scrutinise the requirements of Global AUAs (including government departments) before granting them access to a full KYC, including the Aadhaar number. 

Aadhaar 2.0 is a good technical step to minimise the potential problems of privacy. The UIDAI circular also indicates that all AUAs need to comply with the technical requirements of revisions by June 1. 

The proposed Data Protection Bill is expected to supplement the technical features with appropriate legislation. 

However, we need to go one step further. As individuals, we need to be informed and exercise our rights while sharing information, evolve self-regulating AUAs, and adhere strictly to protecting the privacy of individuals. 

The writers are professors, IIIT-Bangalore 

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