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

Thursday, April 26, 2018

13355 - Aadhaar hearing: Why does UIDAI need to collect metadata of citizens, asks Supreme Court - Indian Express


Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for UIDAI and the Gujarat government, said UIDAI collected "limited technical metadata" to have control over the requesting entities that seek Aadhaar authentication for granting services.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) why it needed to collect ‘metadata’ of personal transactions of citizens. (File)By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: April 24, 2018 10:18:22 pm

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) why it needed to collect ‘metadata’ of personal transactions of citizens which go for Aadhaar authentication to avail services and benefits. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, hearing a clutch of petitions challenging Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law, was responding to the submission of UIDAI that it collected only “limited technical metadata”.

“Why do you (UIDAI) have to retain metadata of personal transactions of persons entered through Aadhaar authentication,” the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked. 

Metadata is a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for UIDAI and the Gujarat government, said the petitioners, opposing the Aadhaar scheme, have completely “misunderstood the concept of metadata” and the UIDAI collected “limited technical metadata” to have control over the requesting entities (REs) which seek Aadhaar authentication for granting services and benefits.

He said that on one hand, the petitioners were saying that UIDAI had no control over requesting entities, but simultaneously, they were also alleging that UIDAI will have so much control over the metadata that may lead to surveillance. 

While it was important to exercise control over the REs, there was no data about the location or purpose of transaction or authentication which was being collected by UIDAI, he said. The bench then asked him, “So you are not collecting metadata about the person but only about the machine,” to which Dwivedi replied in affirmative.

The senior lawyer referred to foreign judgments and said there was reasonable and legitimate expectation of privacy, but the context was “very important”. “A criminal might not have any expectation of personal autonomy whereas a common man will,” he said, adding that there will be different levels of privacy rights when a person was inside the home and when he ventured out in “relational world”.

“Individuals live in communities and their personality is shaped by imbibing cultural and social values of the society. Regulations are designed to protect objective principles that define reasonable expectation of privacy,” he said. He said the possibility of data breaches cannot be a ground to strike down the Aadhaar law and efforts should be to make it work and not to strike it off.

He then referred to the example of doctors trying to save a patient and asked the court to adopt the same approach in saving the Aadhaar law and suggest it measures to strengthen the statute. The bench said there was one area which required consideration was the provision of remedies for the breaches. 

The lawyer said the Information Technology Act provided for penalties and recently, UIDAI had imposed penalties on Airtel and Axis Bank for the breaches. Dwivedi will conclude his submissions tomorrow.

Earlier, the bench had said it was not sure whether bringing people “face to face” with the authorities through Aadhaar was the best model as the state should reach them to accord the benefits of the welfare schemes. “We are not sure if that is the best model. The individual should not be a supplicant. The State should go to him and give him benefits,” the bench had said. 

The bench had also said that if biometric authentication is attached to every transaction entered into by a person, it would “form a wealth of information” necessitating the need for data protection.