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, June 7, 2018

13663 - In Chhattisgarh, a scheme to give smartphones to the poor seeks consent to use their Aadhaar number - Scroll.In


Documents accessed by Scroll.in show that the government has not specified what the information will be used for.


Last month, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Chhattisgarh launched the first phase of the Sanchar Kranti Yojana, a scheme to provide smartphones to more than 50 lakh families below the poverty line. According to the initiative, one phone will be provided per family and will be registered in the name of the female head of the house.

However, scheme documents accessed by Scroll.in show that the state has not only asked for the Aadhaar numbers (or enrolment numbers for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric ID yet) of applicants and their family members but also signatures giving the government consent to use those Aadhaar numbers. The documents do not explain why or how the government intends to use this information.

This has raised concerns about privacy and possible misuse of Aadhaar details ahead of Assembly polls later this year.

The last point in this document asks for the full name and signature of every member of the family giving the government permission to use the Aadhaar number.

Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identity number issued by the government, has been made mandatory for several government schemes even as its constitutional validity has been questioned in the Supreme Court. According to the Aadhaar Act, 2016, an individual’s Aadhaar number or biometric information cannot be “published, displayed or posted publicly, except for the purposes as may be specified by regulations.”

Beneficiaries who do not have Aadhaar or have not enrolled for the unique identity number can apply for the smartphone scheme through other documents such as passports or drivers licence. However, they will not be able to avail of certain additional benefits that those with Aadhaar can access, a senior government official said.

As on Wednesday, six lakh people had enrolled under the scheme, 80% using Aadhaar, the official said.

Consent concerns
A consultant with the Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society, the government wing in charge of the project, told Scroll.in that the government planned to use the Aadhaar numbers to provide additional benefits to families enrolled in the scheme. “There are primarily two reasons for seeking consent for using the Aadhaar numbers of the family members of the applicants,” said the consultant, who did not wish to be identified. “Using the Aadhaar numbers, the government wants to provide DigiLocker facility to each member of the family through the same smartphone and later expand the scheme to cover direct benefit transfers.”

DigiLocker is a virtual locker launched by the Government of India that allows citizens to store official documents and certificates, such as drivers licences, school certificates and voter IDs, on the cloud, eliminating the need for hard copies. The locker is linked to an individual’s Aadhaar number.
When asked why a scheme to distribute mobile phones would need to initiate direct benefit transfers – under which subsidies or other government transfers are sent directly into a person’s bank account – the consultant said the government “will come up with more ideas with time”. He said the government is in talks with companies to provide e-wallets that can be accessed by all family members under one smart phone and mobile number.

Alex Paul Menon, the Chief Executive Officer of Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society, said the consent was being sought so that applicants would not be harassed for their Aadhaar details on multiple occasions for various purposes.

“Under the draft of the Sanchar Kranti Yojana, the government has emphasised on consent for usage of any detail provided by the applicants. This is the only reason why we have asked for consent for using Aadhaar number of relatives of beneficiaries so that we can provide them with all possible benefits under the scheme,” said Menon.

However, activists are not convinced. “This [the signature clause] will naturally create concerns,” said Vipul Paikra, a civil right activist in Chhattisgarh. “Aadhaar has been in controversy for a long time and the government has not yet made public its intentions for seeking consent for using the Aadhaar numbers of the applicants and their relatives. Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh will be held later this year and the Aadhaar numbers can be misused in numerous ways.”

Paikra said most beneficiaries under this scheme would not be digitally literate and would not come to know if their private data was being misused.


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