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Digital Locker Is A Legal Project Based Upon Illegal Technology Named #Aadhaar #uid

DigiLocker, a national Digital Locker System has been recently launched by the Govt. of India. This Digital Locker (elocker) is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India program/initiative.

Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) under Ministry of Communications & IT- Government of India, has launched the Beta version of this online documents storage facility on 10th Feb,2015.

Before understanding more about this online e-storage facility, kindly note that you need to have Aadhaar number (issued by UIDAI-Unique Identification Authority of India) to use DigiLocker facility. Digital Locker System or DigiLocker is an Aadhar-linked facility.

What is DigiLocker (Digital Locker System)?

DigiLocker is an online storage facility provided by the Government of India to store your important documents. You can upload documents like Voter Id card, PAN card, BPL card, Driving license, education certificates etc., These documents will be linked to your Aadhar number and can be treated as authorized documents. So, you may not need to carry physical documents while applying for jobs or government certificates or educational institutions etc.,

Why DigiLocker?

  • Most of our important documents are prevalent in physical form, leading to huge administrative overhead.
  • Challenge to us in submitting multiple physical copies of the documents.
  • Challenge to the institutions/govt/agencies to verify the authenticity of the documents.

Objectives/Features/Benefits of Digital Locker system (DigiLocker)

The following points will make you understand how the online digital storage system (DigiLocker) works.

  • It will enable digital empowerment of residents by providing us with Digital Locker on the cloud. As mentioned above, you can upload your important documents and keep them online. Digital Locker is linked to your Aadhaar number.
  • Minimize the use of physical documents. Uploading your certificates like those related to birth, marriage, income and caste certificates on the e-locker will ensure that there is no need to carry them in the physical format when they are needed for educational or job applications. For example – You are applying for a job in BSNL. While verifying your application, BSNL can access your Education related certificates on DigiLocker, based on your Aadhar number. (Here BSNL can be called as ‘Requester.’ Requester has to register for accessing repository of documents available on digital locker system).
  • You can also share e-documents online with any registered requester agency or department.
  • Ensure Authenticity of the e-documents and thereby eliminating usage of fake documents.
  • Secure access to Govt. issued documents through a web portal and mobile application for residents. For example – RTO (Regional Transport Office) can issue driving certificate and upload the document (in standard format) in the designated repository. The document (driver’s license in this case) will be pushed to the concerned resident’s (you) Digital Locker based on his/her Aadhaar number. In this case RTO can be called as an ‘Issuer.’ Another example can be, in future an Educational University can issue Graduation certificates and upload them to digital locker system. Students can then access their respective education certificates online (based on Aadhaar Id number).
  • Anytime and anywhere access to the documents.
  • Enable e-Signing of documents and make them available electronically. Digital signature can be done online. (I believe e-sign online service is not yet integrated)
  • Dedicated personal storage space (10MB). This may be increased to 1 GB in future.
  • Architecture to support a well-structured standard document format to support easy sharing of documents across departments and agencies.
  • Ensure privacy and authorized access to residents’ data.
  • You can also download eAadhar from the DigiLocker portal/website.
  • You can access List of issuers which have issued e-documents to resident (you) and list of requesters which have accessed resident’s (your) documents.

Who are the stakeholders of DigiLocker?

As highlighted in the above points, the key stake holders (parties) who can access the Digital Locker system are Residents, Issuers and Requesters. Government is planning to roll out this facility throughout India. It is encouraging Government agencies (can be a requester or an issuer) to on board on Digital locker system. Going forward, it may also encourage Employers to use this DigiLocker system.Digital locker system digilocker

Issuers of documents (in standard format) can be – Registrar office, Income Tax department, RTO, Educational institutions etc., (Issuer is an entity issuing e-documents to individuals in a standard format and making them electronically available).

Requesters of documents can be – Employers, Universities, Passport Office etc., (Requester is an entity requesting secure access to a particular e-document stored in the repository).

Resident can be – An individual (you) who uses the Digital Locker service based on Aadhar and OTP (one time password) authentication.

How to activate (or) access DigiLocker (Digital Locker system/facility)?

To Sign-up for the DigiLocker you need to have an Aadhaar number and a mobile number registered with Aadhaar.

  • Visit digitallocker.gov.in (Click on the image to enlarge it)digilocker website login
  • Enter your Aadhar number (12 digit UID number).
  • Enter the characters displayed in the captcha code.
  • After clicking signup/login button, an OTP (One Time Password) will be sent by UIDAI to the mobile number and email-id registered with your Aadhaar. (OTP is valid for 30 minutes) (I have logged into the portal and it is really quick and simple).
  • Enter the OTP and click on “Validate OTP” button. Once the OTP is validated the signup and login is complete.
  • Below screenprint shows you the various menu options that are available on the home page. (Click on the image to enlarge it)digilocker elocker menu options
  • You can upload various documents like SSC certificate, PAN card, Voter Id etc., On successful upload, the document will be listed under “Uploaded Documents” subsection. digilocker 3
  • You can find ‘Share’ option Under the menu ‘My certificates.’
  • ‘My profile’ menu section displays the complete profile of the resident (Name, Date of Birth, Gender,Residential Address, email, mobile number) as available in the UIDAI database.
  • My Issuer – This section displays the Issuer name and the number of documents issued to the resident by the issuer.
  • My Requester – This section displays the Requester name and the number of documents requested from the resident by the requester.
  • Directories – This section displays the complete list of registered Issuers and Requesters along with their URL.

How can I share the e-documents in my digital locker?

For sharing your e-document (mentioned as URI under “Digital Documents” subsection or under “Uploaded Documents” subsection) you need to click on “Share” link provided against the document you would like to share. A dialog box will pop up. Please enter the email address of the recipient in the dialog box and click “Share” button. The document will be shared with the recipient via email. The recipient will receive an email from [email protected] The subject line of the email will mention the document name and document type. The email body will have the URI-Uniform Resource Indicator link of the document and the sender name and Aadhaar number. The recipient can access the document using the URI link provided in the email.

On a closer analysis, it becomes apparent that digital locker relies upon illegal and unconstitutional technology popularly known as Aadhaar. Till the time of writing of this article, Aadhaar project is not supported by any legal framework and is clearly violating the civil liberties and fundamental rights of Indian masses. 

 

According to Praveen Dalal, managing partner of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and leading techno legal expert of Asia, there is no doubt about the utility of Digital Locker project as it can save tremendous time, energy and resources. Its users would be spared from the troubles of showing again and again the certificates and documents in question. Further, chances of manipulation and forgery of such documents and certificates would also be lowered. 
However, the moment Digital Locker is made dependent upon Aadhaar, it becomes a “Controversial and Unconstitutional” Project. This is more so when Aadhaar is the sole criteria to avail the service that is also in violation of the Supreme Court’s directions (PDF), opines Dalal. In short, Digital Locker Is a Legal Project Based upon Illegal Technology named Aadhaar, concludes Dalal. 

 

As the matter is presently pending before the Supreme Court of India, it would only be wise and constitutionally required to declared Aadhaar project unconstitutional. The truth is that Aadhaar project in its present form has no welfare element but is purely an e-surveillance project that needs to be declared unconstitutional immediately. Neither Aadhaar nor Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has the legal status that can justify their existence at the expense of scarce financial resources.
http://cjnewsind.blogspot.in/2015/02/digital-locker-is-legal-project-based.html

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