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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

13681 - Why a 77-year old ex-judge has Facebook, Google, Amazon nervous in India - Bloomberg


Bloomberg | Jun 11, 2018, 13:25 IST

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Retired SC judge B N Srikrishna is leading the effort to draft new data-privacy laws for India that will regulate how tech giants from the US and elsewhere operate in the country
  • Srikrishna plans to navigate a “middle path” between the laissez-faire US approach and the stringent GDPR just imposed in Europe

NEW DELHI: B N Srikrishna is a genial, 77-year-old former Supreme Court judge who recites Shakespeare and Sanskrit scriptures with equal facility. But he’s making the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook more than a little nervous. 

Srikrishna is leading the effort to draft new data-privacy laws for India that will regulate how tech giants from the US and elsewhere operate in the nation of 130 crore. His recommendations carry particular weight because India is already the biggest market for companies like Facebook Inc. + and offers enormous potential for dozens more. The committee Srikrishna helms will send its bill to the government this week. 

They’re going well beyond the hands-off American approach that preceded fiascoes like the Facebook breach, which facilitated Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election , or the Equifax hack, which exposed personal information of about 14.5 crore people. He and his colleagues are determined to modernize the country’s standards and protect all citizens. 

“India has accelerated from a ‘bail gaadi’ economy to a silicon-chip economy,” said Srikrishna, using the Hindi expression for ox cart. “But privacy and data regulation rules are still far behind.” 

India has been careening into the digital age. The number of people with smartphones soared to 37 crore users at end 2017, from 2.5 crore in 2012, according to Counterpoint Research. The government has also developed one of the world’s most ambitious biometric identity systems- Aadhaar, which assigned unique 12-digit numbers to 110 crore Indians and registered their fingerprints, iris scans and demographic details. That data is now used for everything from tax returns and property purchases to welfare disbursals and WhatsApp payments. 

But this flood of data -- and an absence of regulation -- has fueled concern among privacy activists and citizens groups. That’s been aggravated by government practices, including a recent misstep by the southern state of Andhra Pradesh that inadvertently exposed the demographic and bank details of more than 1.3 lakh people. 

“Data-poor India is rapidly becoming a data-rich economy so having a data protection law is critical,” said Srikanth Nadhamuni, chief executive officer of startup incubator Khosla Labs and former chief technology officer for Aadhaar. 

The diminutive, grey-haired Srikrishna discussed the debate during an interview in his Mumbai office, which is so compact that chairs for visitors prevent the door from opening fully. He plans to navigate a “middle path” between the laissez-faire US approach and the stringent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just imposed in Europe. “India is India, after all,” he said, seated in front of a MacBook and pile of papers. 

The 10-member committee he heads -- comprising academics and government officials -- is putting the finishing touches to their bill. The draft will need parliament approval to be enacted. 

Currently, foreign companies and hundreds of home-grown startups collect, aggregate, store and process Indian user data unhindered. The Google-backed delivery app Dunzo, for instance, requires access to a customer’s contact list, location, messages, media files and call information at the time of installation. Such information is gathered "only to improve the user’s experience of initiating/running a task on the Dunzo App," the startup said in an email. 

Srikrishna’s framework would rein in such practices. It will detail what is fair use, whether technology giants can transfer data across the border, and how to enforce accountability and penalties for violations. It will also establish whether users can access and control their own data, like with the EU’s GDPR. 


“Like we keep diabetes and blood pressure in check, controls are needed for data,” Srikrishna said. “Companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Flipkart are extremely nervous.”