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

Monday, May 28, 2018

13607 - Cobrapost Exposé: We Got A Direct Call From The PMO To Share Personal Data Of Our Users, Paytm VP Ajay Shekhar Allegedly Says In Video -Huffington Post

Cobrapost Exposé: We Got A Direct Call From The PMO To Share Personal Data Of Our Users, Paytm VP Ajay Shekhar Allegedly Says In Video

"They told us to give them data saying maybe some of the stone-pelters (in Kashmir) are Paytm users"

By Rohini Chatterji


In a shocking sting operation, Cobrapost, a news website known for its investigative journalism and sting operations, has allegedly found that mobile wallet company Paytm provided personal data of its users to a political party on the request from PMO during stone pelting protests in Jammu and Kashmir.

Senior Vice President of the company Ajay Shekhar is purportedly shown in a sting operation video telling Cobrapost that the PMO wanted personal data of Paytm's users to find out if some of the users were those who pelted stones during protests in Kashmir last year. However, HuffPost India could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

It must noted that government action against stone pelters in Kashmir with pellet guns had drawn severe criticism from all quarters including the United Nations. Many had been killed and further more and been blinded and maimed by pellet guns used by the armed forces.

"When the stone-pelting stopped there in J&K, I personally got a phone call from the PMO. They told us to give them data saying maybe some of the stone-pelters are Paytm users," Shekhar alledly told the under cover journalist.

#MediaOnSale : Vijay Shekhar of paytm revealed that how they provided the data of their users to a political party, on the order of PMO. pic.twitter.com/6uMtJ6f3QG

— Cobrapost (@cobrapost) May 25, 2018

This revelation is in direct violation of the Paytm privacy policy that states:

We will not sell, share or rent your personal information to any 3rd party or use your email address/mobile number for unsolicited emails and/or SMS. Any emails and/or SMS sent by Paytm will only be in connection with the provision of agreed services & products and this Privacy Policy.

Periodically, we may reveal general statistical information about Paytm & its users, such as number of visitors, number and type of goods and services purchased, etc.

We reserve the right to communicate your personal information to any third party that makes a legally-compliant request for its disclosure.

Shekhar reportedly told this to the under cover journalist when he met him and other senior officials on the pretext of being sent by the Sangathan (RSS) "to fulfill the assignment received directly from the Sangathan under a "gupt vyavastha" or secret arrangement".

During their meeting the top bosses of Paytm also allegedly spoke about their personal relations with the RSS.

He is alleged to have said during the video, "RSS is in my blood, I have attended RSS shakhas too."

It was reported by Tech Crunch last year that Paytm had 230 million users in India. A registered user has to complete their KYC with providing two government ids (Aadhaar, Passport, PAN card, Ration Card) for them to be able to use the app and make transfers to other people.

While Paytm promises to keep such data secure, Shekhar's alleged comments have revealed that users are at the risk of being targeted and their data like Aadhaar and bank account numbers being shared.

Watch the video where Shekhar is purpotedly speaking about his affiliations and also about sharing Paytm user date with the PMO:

This exposé is a part of Operation 136 that appear to show how the top bosses of prominent media houses including the Times of India, India Today, Hindustan Times, Zee News, Network 18, Star India, ABP News, Dainik Jagaran, Radio One, Red FM,Lokmat, ABN Andhra Jyothy, TV5, Dinamalar, Big FM, K News, India Voice, The New Indian Express, MVTV and Openmagazine were ready to run a campaign that had the potential to cause communal disharmony and turn public favour towards the ruling BJP.

Cobrapost has published video recordings of the big bosses of the above mentioned media houses who reportedly agreed to run the campaign.

However, according to the Cobrapost report, the Dainik Bhaskar Group got an injunction from the Delhi High Court stopping Cobrapost from publishing its investigations on the organisation.

Cobrapost's exposé raises questions about how the BJP and its parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are furthering their agenda of Hindutva politics and trying to create a polarisation in a way that can be harmful to the society and influence the upcoming elections in 2019.

Read the entire story about the sting operation by Cobraposthere.

Suggest a correction

Rohini ChatterjiGeneral Assignment Editor, HuffPost India