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#India – Biometrics for Social Protection Programmes Risk Violating Human Rights of the Poor #UID

  • Author(s): Usha Ramanathan

Biometrics Use for Social Protection Programmes in India Risk Violating Human Rights of the PoorThis contribution is published as part of the UNRISD resource platform for practitioners and policy makers Linking Social Protection and Human Rights. This part of the platform is a collection of expert contributions and commentary from advocates, practitioners, policy makers and academics sharing practical guidance and thought-provoking commentary on their experiences with a human rights approach to social protection. Please share your thoughts on this article in the comments space below.

Usha Ramanathan is an independent, internationally recognized law researcher working on the jurisprudence of law, poverty and rights.

Biometrics and the violation of human rights

Suddenly, biometric data is being gathered everywhere and from everybody by all manner of agencies. The idea of parting with fingerprints and iris impressions has been marketed as a means to more efficiently and surely deliver services to the poor. This, and the threat of exclusion from a range of services if a person is not biometrically enrolled, has placed the weight of such projects on the shoulders of the poor.

Biometric data is sensitive personal data. In May 2010, in a document titled Aadhaar: communicating to a billion, a team of Indian industry leaders who helped script a marketing strategy for the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)1 said, in a section on “Mental barriers to enrolment”:

      “There is likely to be a level of mistrust and inertia, given the track record of government programmes across time;… providing one’s thumbprint has a strong connotation of attestation by an individual. To do so for


    (the brand name for the unique identification number, or UID), without fully understanding its meaning, may be a mental barrier for some to overcome; people may perceive providing the data as something that makes them readily accessible for abuse by the government; privacy concerns regarding the security and usage of data; giving out personal information could be a barrier to some, though it is likely to be a smaller concern area.”

These concerns were approached by the state as hurdles to be crossed, rather than issues to be addressed. They identified partners who could help them sell the idea of parting with biometric and demographic information and giving it to the state and to industry which included: “advertising agency; media agency for mass media; market research agencies; public relations; call centres”. It is significant that the UIDAI set out its mandate as “(issuing) UID numbers to all residents in the country” while promoting the project as having the “basic objective” of “improved benefits service delivery, especially to the poor and marginalized sections of society”. The poor thus provide the justification for the larger project of databasing a whole population.

Corruption, leakage in the delivery of services, welfare fraud and slippages in the last mile are offered in explanation for why each individual needs to be distinctly identified. There is an inherent suspicion of people accessing services and welfare benefits, which is exaggerated by the preoccupation with reducing subsidies. The language that is developing around the use of biometrics in service delivery is of weeding out ‘ghost beneficiaries’, ‘eliminating duplicates’ and removing the ‘undeserving’ from the lists. This may seem an odd way to articulate an agenda for inclusion, and so it is. What it does do is require every recipient of services or benefits, time after time, to prove that they are worthy of welfare, and to demonstrate that they have an entitlement in a way that technology recognizes.

Uncertain technology

Even as biometric databasing projects take off in different parts of the globe, the technology is still uncertain. This is a narrative of the Indian experience.

In December 2009, a committee set up by the UIDAI reported that 2-5% of the 25,000 persons whose fingerprints they had harvested to perform a pilot “did not have biometric records. Missing biometrics is a licence to commit fraud.” So they suggested that iris biometric technology, which was beginning to emerge from the proprietary domain, could be combined with fingerprint records to try to help achieve greater accuracy in de-duplication.2

Early in 2010, the UIDAI issued a Notice inviting applications for hiring of biometrics consultant. This document carried a candid admission that there was a total absence of evidence about biometrics in the developing world.

    “There is a lack of a sound study that documents the accuracy achievable on Indian demographics (i.e., larger percentage of rural population) and in Indian environmental conditions (i.e., extremely hot and humid climates and facilities without air-conditioning).” And, “we could not find any credible study assessing the achievable accuracy in any of the developing countries. UIDAI has performed some preliminary assessment of quality of fingerprint data from Indian rural demographics and environments and the results are encouraging. The ‘quality’ assessment of fingerprint data is not sufficient to fully understand the achievable de-duplication accuracy.”

Yet, the decision had already been made that photographs, fingerprints and iris data would be collected, and numbers generated after ‘de-duplication’, relying entirely on biometrics.

In November 2011, the Director General of the UIDAI said in an interview: “Capturing fingerprints, especially of manual labourers, is a challenge. The quality of fingerprints is bad because of the rough exterior of fingers caused by hard work, and this poses a challenge for later authentication.” Reports on authentication published by the UIDAI in March and September 2012 abound with the uncertainties surrounding biometrics.

This, then, is an experiment with the entire population as the laboratory, in which the poor and the undocumented will have more to lose than the rest.

Whose transparency?

Biometric identification systems are not about identity, but about identification. Biometrics are stored and authenticated by an agency, and claims that persons make about who they are will be determined by technology and the person who wields the technology. The individual has no control over this process.

The identifier that is generated and seeded in multiple databases acts as a bridge between various silos of information. When several databases open up to each other, profiling, tracking, tagging and surveillance is rendered easy, and the individual becomes transparent to those who can access the system. This is an inversion of what right to information movements have been attempting to achieve in many parts of the world in recent times. In India, Parliament passed the Right to Information Act in 2005, pressured by a civil society movement that was demanding transparency and accountability from the government. The biometric identification project turns this on its head, attempting to make every individual transparent to the state and to private companies that use this identity platform.

In justification of the biometric identification project, a statement that is being passed off as axiomatic is this: that the poor have no interest in privacy; that privacy is an elite concern. It is food, housing, health services and education that they want, runs the justification. Yet, as far as is known, no one asked the poor for their opinion. Nor has any study been done to assess the value of privacy to the poor. Nor have constitutional positions—and whether rights that are fundamental to all persons can be waived on their behalf, or waived at all, or whether some rights and entitlements can be secured only if others are relinquished—been addressed.

Tagging, tracking, profiling the poor

It is no secret that the poor often find themselves in a twilight zone of legality. This is not because the poor are criminal, but because the law keeps them there. That the law in India, even today, treats a person who is without visible means of subsistence as a beggar, and a ‘beggar’ may be held in custody for periods ranging from one to ten years and beyond, is symptomatic of how the poor are viewed. Systems that tag, track, profile the poor and place them under surveillance have consequences beyond the denial of services, and enter into the arena of criminalizing poverty.

Technological determination of claims to identity, and of presence in various databases, is not only about privacy, but about personal security too, especially in relation to the state.

It is also about exclusion where either the technology fails, or where persons exercise their judgment and decide that they do not wish to be databased and transparent to the state and those controlling the data, or where those controlling the technology refuse recognition. In India, the language of voluntary enrolment has already given way to mandatory enrolment and seeding the UID number to get food in the public distribution system, to get work, to get cooking gas, to receive scholarships and pensions, to open and operate bank accounts, to register marriages, in rental agreements and sale deeds and wills. The poor have little choice in the matter.

Whether biometrics can uniquely identify is not the point. The point is that the regular run of people will feel watched and tracked and tagged and profiled, and that will have consequences for the way in which they constitute their politics and its expression. The vulnerability of poverty exacerbates this threat to freedom. Of course there will be someone somewhere who will say that the poor have no use for freedom.

1 The Unique Identification Authority of India was set up by notification dated 28 January 2009 to construct, maintain and own a database of residents. The number it generates is the Universal Identification number (UID), and its brand name is aadhaar. For more information about UIDAI and a collection of documents and reports see:

2 A process by which the fingerprints and iris impressions gathered during enrolment will be checked against the database that is being developed; this is expected to weed out the possibility of one person receiving more than one UID number through multiple enrolments.

ABOUT THE AUTHORUsha Ramanathan is an independent, internationally recognized law researcher working on the jurisprudence of law, poverty and rights. She writes and speaks on issues that include the Bhopal Gas Disaster, mass displacement, eminent domain, civil liberties, beggary, criminal law, custodial institutions, the environment, and judicial process. She has been tracking, and engaging with, the UID project (the Indian Government’s plan to issue citizens with a unique identification number) and has written and debated extensively on the subject. Her work draws heavily upon non-governmental experience in its encounters with the state, a six year stint with a law journal as reporter from the Supreme Court, and engaging with matters of public policy. Some of her writings can be found at the IELRC website. She studied law at Madras University, the University of Nagpur and Delhi University.

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Budgetary allocations for UIDAI till 31 March 2014 #UID #Aadhar

Kindly note that according to a October 2013 report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance submitted to both the Houses of Parliament, the total budgetary allocations made for UIDAI since its inception up to 31 March 2014 is Rs 5, 440.30 crore, as per details given below:


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200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


S.No Financial Year Amount (Rs. crore)
1. 2009-10 25.65*
2. 2010-11 268.41*
3. 2011-12 1187.52*
4. 2012-13 1338.72*
5. 2013-14 2620.00^
   TOTAL 5440.30


*Actual Expenditure, ^ Budget Estimates
The budget of this project comes under the ministry of planning. The budgetary support to Aadhaar was increased by 47% to Rs1,758 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 1,200 crore in 2011-12 for UIDAI to enroll Indian residents for their unique IDs/Aadhaar to 60 crore from 20 crore. A provision of Rs 2, 620 crore has been allocated in Budget Estimate (2013-14) for UIDAI and a major part of the budget provision for Rs 1,040 crore is earmarked for ‘Enrolment Authentication and Updation’, out of which Rs 1,000 crore has been earmarked under the head ‘other charges’. What is this “other charges”?




Besides this allocations must have been made in Chidambram’s last Interim Budget for expenses beyond March 31, 2014.





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UID excludes 1.4 million children in India #Aadhaar #Disability

Cartoon of a man being checked on biometric fe...

Kamayani Bali Mahabal aka Kractivist

India is home to the largest number of children in the world,significantly larger than the number in China. The country has 20 percent of the 0-4 years’ child population of the world. The number of live births in the country is estimated to be 27 million,2 which again constitutes 20 per cent of the total number of live births in the



The UID working paper on UID and Iris says that collecting and de-duplicating the biometrics of children is a challenge – face and finger biometrics are not stable until the age of 16. The lack of de-duplication of a child’s biometrics would require that the child’s

UID be linked to the parents’UIDs in the database and the child’s ID is not issued on the basis of deduplication of his/her biometrics.


This however, increases the risk of duplicates/fakes among UIDs for children.


Lets look at one state Jharkhand , where kids eyes bear brunt of poor diet .More than 54 percent of the around 52 lakh children in Jharkhand suffer from malnourishment and a

large number of them have eye-related ailments like cataract,according to data made available by the state government.




Out of the total global population of visually challenged of 45 million, 12 million are in India. Children below 16 years account for 1.4 million cases of blindness in India.


Hence , UID will actually exclude million of cases because of malnutrition-induced Cataract. Finger prints, too, would generate a lot of noisy data which may ultimately be unusable. There are no existing standards for the creation / collection of biometric data in India and consequently no way to monitor the process.


There is no means of controlling the recording and retrieval of data about children, and that is especially serious since our jurisprudence clearly states that the records relating to children except public exam marks should not

be carried into adulthood. This is especially important where the child has had a difficult growing up and may have encountered problems of being a `neglected child’ or a `child in conflict with the law’.


These are specifically proscribed from being carried into adulthood,with good reason. The UID, with its ability to link up data bases poses a threat to this important area of personal safety and protection of the child.


I want to ask UIDAI are we sending our kids to school or to prison? We wouldnt accept fingerprinting for adults without informed consent so it is utterly outrageous that children as young as five are being targeted. As a parent we make decisions for our children on a daily

basis some will affect their lives for the next few minutes others will potentially affect the rest of their lives.When replacing any existing system it is often easier to see how a new system fixes the


shortcomings in the existing system, but often its the case that any new system also comes with its own set of weaknesses some of which were not immediately evident.


What are the consequences of imposing this untried project that is in a legal vacuum on the children in your state. China has, for instance,banned the practice of fingerprinting in schools as being too intrusive and an infringement of children’s rights.The question of

informed consent is an important element in public policy.


It is also ironical that the Indian state is promoting the UID projectin India at a time when several countries across the world (including the USA, the UK, Australia, China, Canada and Germany) have scrapped similar projects. In UK, there are schools which use fingerprints to

identify individuals arriving at school, in a tactic to reduce truancy. Pupils would touch a fingerprint reader to show they were in school or in an individual lesson. But there have been concerns about how such personal biometric data is stored or who else might have access to such information. And there have also been disputes about

the rules governing the collection and use of such data from young people.


India has ratified the International Covenant on Child Rights and the


Article 2 of the CRC States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities,expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal,guardians, or family members.


Article 8 states that the States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her

identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference. When replacing any existing system, it is often easier to see how a new system fixes the

shortcomings in the existing system, but often it is the case that any new system also comes with its own set of weaknesses some of whichwere not immediately evident.


How UID will kill Patient rights #Healthcare #Aadhaar

Coercive Politics of UID and Scholarships


India – are we being Made Guinea Pigs #UID




The Fingerprint Authentication Report is at


The Iris PoC on authentication is at


Report from a study done in Notre Dame University on iris aging, especially because of the presumption with which the Iris PoC starts, that iris is unchanging, at

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#India – Are we being made Guinea pigs ? #UID #Aadhaar

-Kamayani Bali Mahabal
Adhaar infographic (1)

 UID   is a 12 digit number in addition to PAN Card, Passport,Ration Card,Driving License,BPL Cards, NREGA Card and similar cards issued by both State and Central Government .However,unlike these need  based identities issued to citizens of India, the UID number is issued to every resident in India. The identity of resident will be stored in a central database with individuals’ biometric and demographic data linked to a randomly generated unique number.The identity would be  authenticated by querying the database.  So, a person  possessing the UID cannot authenticate his or her identity, but only those in charge of the database have the means and authority  to authenticate person’s identity. The biometric and demographic information of 1.3+ billion residents of India mean  6,000,000 gigabytes. It will be the world’s largest database. The technological challenges are enormous and involve system performance, reliability, speed and resolution of accuracy and errors.

The the linkage of  UID  with various governmental benefits and services such as food security under the newly enacted Food Security Act, LPG subsidy, the Employees’ Provident Fund, and other DBT benefits,  falsifies the government’s claim of it being voluntary. The Supreme Court  has rapped the government on it, and ordered  not to demand the UID in order to provide a service,delinking it to all public services.
UID claims to revolutionize the  public service delivery and  will control corruption, be inclusive and portable . But that has been achieved  in several states in major welfare schemes , by creatively using simpler technology compared  to UID.
Regarding Corruption  in the PDS , Tamil Nadu has been running a clean system without UID. Intelligent applications of simpler technology  of  computerisation, SMS alerts , along with other reforms, have contributed to the turnaround of the PDS in Chhattisgarh and Odisha. In these states estimated leakages of PDS grain have come down from around 50% in both states, to 10% and 20% respectively (between 2004-2005 and 2010-2011).The National Food Security Act (NFSA) increases the coverage under the PDS (from about half of the population to two-thirds). Independent of the NFSA, there has been a trend towards greater  ‘inclusivity as state governments, one after another, have rejected the central caps on coverage. Starting with Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh, which run universal or quasi-universal PDS, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and even Jharkhand have expanded their PDS by committing state funds.In fact, MNREGA has contributed much to financial inclusion even before UID existed
In the case of LPG,  a system is in place already, Oil Companies have devised scientific methods and stern measures including IVRS booking system that is  fool proof, further the LPG Cylinders are delivered to the doorstep of the Customer and hence clearly identifiable. UID in no way  helps improve or make the scheme any better.
Col Mathew who has filed PIL against UID, shares with us his view on the issue below.

LPG cash subsidy could be transferred to non-eligible people, if eligibility criteria are stipulated, or people with fake IDs.PAN details and proof of residence have been frequently misused to procure SIM cards, Iris images & biometric data are identification forms. They can be used to create fake identities. UIDAI has not only multiplied this danger, but unknowingly introduced massive vulnerabilities in the processes of creating and establishing identity . J.T. D’Souza, managing director of SPARC Systems Limited  in a demo  below exposes that a finger print could be faked in less than a dollar

National IDs have been abandoned in the US, Australia and the United Kingdom  government, due to costs and privacy.  If It was too  expensive for the US with a population of 308 million, and the UK with 61 million people, and Australia with 21 million people,  so how come not for India, with a population fo  181 billion plus  ?
How Can India  allow its citizens to be used  as  guinea pigs by biometric technology companies ?.



READ ABOUT – Magician Nandan Nilekani and his Magic Number

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Don’t deny work over Aadhaar card, govt tells states #UID

Written by Ruhi Tewari | New Delhi | February 12, 2014 1:18 am   Print
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200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The project has been plagued by problems such as low rate of enrolment.
In what could be an acknowledgment that the ambitious Aadhaar-based Direct Benefits Transfer scheme did not take off as planned, the government has eased out Aadhaar requirement for the rural job guarantee scheme, asking states not to deny work to any worker for not possessing an Aadhaar card.
The Rural Development Ministry said no rural household applying for work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme shall be denied work for not having a bank account, and no job card holder would be denied work for not having an Aadhaar card.
The project has been plagued by problems such as low rate of enrolment. With Lok Sabha polls round the corner, the government does not want any beneficiary to miss out on its welfare schemes.
While the government never made Aadhaar mandatory to get work under MGNREGA, it was brought under the Aadhaar-based DBT scheme and importance was given to Aadhaar for payments.


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Aadhaar not mandatory for MGNREGA wages

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Programme Officer in every State should help workers get UIDAI numbers, says Ministry
The Ministry of Rural Development on Tuesday directed the States not to deny workers job cards under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for non-possession of either bank/post office account numbers or the Aadhaar card.
The instructions, a copy of which is available with The Hindu, say it is the responsibility of the MGNREGA Programme Officer in the States to help workers obtain Aadhaar numbers.
The directives follow an affidavit filed by activist Jean Dreze in the Supreme Court on denial of wages in Khunti district of Jharkhand to a few labourers without Aadhaar cards. “This is a violation of the Supreme Court’s interim order, dated September 23, 2013, which states ‘no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card …’.”
The affidavit mentioned a specific case in Tirla gram panchayat, where three of the 22 workers who worked on land development at Belahati from December 19 to 25 last did not have UIDAI cards.
According to sources familiar with the case, the affidavit was filed as a “wrong impression is being created that a UID is compulsory (or about to become compulsory) for NREGA wage payments and NREGA workers with no UID are paying the price for the confusion…”
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#India – MongoDB, CIA funded company will join with UIDAI #aadhaar #WTFnews


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MongoDB startup hired by Aadhaar got funds

from CIA

By Lison Joseph, ET Bureau | 3 Dec, 2013, 04.00AM IST  Post a Comment
The yet to be announced contract between MongoDB, part-funded by the US’ CIA and UIDAI for data collection, and analysing can raise eyebrows.
BANGALORE: Two weeks ago, Max Schireson, chief executive of MongoDB, a New York-based technology startup, was in New Delhi to sew up a very important contract for his company — with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The contract is yet to be announced but what could raise eyebrows is the fact that MongoDB is part-funded by the US’ Central Intelligence Agency.
The company is expected to help in capturing and analysing data related to the ambitious plan to issue a unique identity number — Aadhaar — to over a billion citizens.
MongoDB, which makes software that helps manage large databases, especially unstructured data, has raised $231 million (Rs1,400 crore) since being founded in 2007. Some of its funding is from In-Q-Tel, the not-for-profit venture capital arm of CIA.
While MongoDB lists In-Q-Tel as one of its investors on its website, the company has not disclosed the quantum of funding received from it. The fund’s stated mission is to identify, adapt and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the missions of CIA and the broader US intelligence community.
MongoDB startup hired by Aadhaar got funds from CIA “Once an investment is made, IQT (the fund) works with the company and the intelligence community partner agency to complete a work program and facilitate solution delivery,” the fund’s website said. The quote describes IQT’s relationship with any company in which it invests in and is not specific to MongoDB.
Neither UIDAI nor MongoDB responded to queries from ET on whether the CIA link was considered before entering into a partnership. UIDAI Chairman Nandan Nilekani did not respond to emails, messages and phone calls.
A senior UIDAI official confirmed the agency has entered into an agreement with MongoDB and that the company’s database software is already being used for analysing the pace at which registration of new beneficiaries is taking place.
It is not clear if MongoDB’s vendor relationship would be with UID directly or with one of the system integrators that UID works with. Schireson, the CEO, was also one of the national co-chairs for Technology for Obama, an interest group that campaigned for the reelection of President Barack Obama after his first term.
There is no evidence in the public domain that the firm is controlled or significantly influenced by the CIA in any manner.
But the revelations of Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower that US intelligence agencies routinely intercepted communication in Europe and Asia, including in India has raised concerns. Experts said the UID’s centralised design could pose a risk, where even a single mistake can make the whole system disproportionately vulnerable.
“The risk exposure because of CIA involvement (could be that) if MongoDB is a data controller, then secret courts and secret court orders could be used to get access to the UID data,” said Sunil Abraham, executive director at the Centre for Internet and Society.
He added that even if UIDAI is only using the source code without getting into a commercial relationship with MongoDB, they should audit the source code to check if CIA has introduced any back doors. “This is because Snowden has told us that the army of mathematicians working for the US government has compromised some standards even though they were developed in an open, participatory and transparent fashion.” MongoDB, whose name is a play on the word humongous, competes with Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. It has around 320 employees and some 600 customers. At its latest round of $150 million in fund-raising in October, the company was valued at about $1.2 billion, according to Bloomberg. Other investors include Intel Capital,, Red Hat and Sequoia.


आधार कार्ड प्रॉजेक्ट से जुड़ेगी सीआईए फंडेड कंपनी!
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | Dec 2, 2013, 
लिजन जोसेफ, बेंगलुरु
आधार कार्ड योजना से जुड़ी यूनीक आइडेंटिफिकेशन अथॉरिटी ऑफ इंडिया (यूआईडीएआई) न्यूयॉर्क की ऐसी टेक्नोलॉजी स्टार्ट-अप से करार करने वाली है, जिसे अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसी सीआईए से फंड मिलता है। अमेरिकी कंपनी मोंगोडीबी के सीईओ मैक्स शाइरेसन दो सप्ताह पहले इसी काम के लिए नई दिल्ली आए थे। अभी इस कॉन्ट्रैक्ट का ऐलान नहीं किया गया है। बताया जा रहा है कि मोंगोडीबी डेटा लेने और उसकी एनालिसिस में यूआईडीए को मदद देगी।
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स ने सवाल पूछा था कि समझौते पर आगे बढ़ने से पहले सीआईए वाले पहलू पर सोचा गया था या नहीं? इस पर न तो यूआईडीएआई और न ही मोंगोडीबी ने जवाब दिया।
यूआईडीएआई के एक सीनियर अधिकारी ने बताया कि मोंगोडीबी के साथ एग्रीमेंट किया गया है और कंपनी के डेटाबेस सॉफ्टवेयर का इस्तेमाल लोगों के रजिस्ट्रेशन की रफ्तार जांचने में पहले ही किया जा रहा है। यह अभी साफ नहीं है कि मोंगोडीबी की वेंडर रिलेशनशिप सीधे यूआईडी से होगी या यूआईडी के साथ काम करने वाले किसी सिस्टम इंटीग्रेटर से। बड़े डेटाबेस को मैनेज करने वाले सॉफ्टवेयर बनाने वाली मोंगोडीबी ने साल 2007 में काम शुरू किया था। इसने अब तक करीब 1400 करोड़ रुपये जुटाए हैं। इसे कुछ फंडिंग इन-क्यू-टेल से मिलती है, जो सीआईए की वेंचर कैपिटल इकाई है।
[ जारी है ]
मोंगोडीबी यह तो बताती है कि उसके इनवेस्टर्स में इन-क्यू-टेल शामिल है, लेकिन इस बात का खुलासा नहीं करती है कि उसे इससे कितनी रकम मिली है। इन-क्यू-टेल के मिशन में कहा गया है कि वह सीआईए के अभियानों को सपोर्ट करने के लिए इनोवेटिव टेक्नोलॉजी सॉल्यूशंस को बढ़ावा देगी।
इसकी वेबसाइट पर कहा गया है कि इनवेस्टमेंट करने के बाद आईक्यूटी कंपनी और इंटेलिजेंस कम्युनिटी पार्टनर एजेंसी के साथ मिलकर काम करती है ताकि सॉल्यूशन की डिलीवरी की जा सके। एनएसए के साथ कॉन्ट्रैक्टर रह चुके और बाद में गड़बड़ियों का खुलासा करने वाले एडवर्ड स्नोडेन ने कहा था कि अमेरिकी खुफिया एजेंसियां यूरोप और एशिया में कम्युनिकेशंस पर नजर रखती हैं। भारत ने अब तक इस मामले पर चुप है। अभी यह साफ नहीं है कि भारत सरकारी एजेंसियों की ओर से होने वाली इंटरनेशनल साइबर स्नूपिंग पर अंकुश की मांग वाले यूनाइटेड नेशंस के प्रस्ताव पर हामी भरेगा या नहीं।
एक्सपर्ट्स का कहना है कि यूआईडी की सेंट्रलाइज्ड डिजाइन को देखते हुए जोखिम है। सेंटर फॉर इंटरनेट एंड सोसायटी के एग्जिक्यूटिव डायरेक्टर सुनील अब्राहम ने कहा कि सीआईए के जुड़ाव को देखते हुए जोखिम दो स्तरों पर है। पहला, अगर मोंगोडीबी डेटा कंट्रोलर है तो सीक्रेट कोड्स का इस्तेमाल डेटा तक पहुंच बनाने में हो सकता है। दूसरी बात यह है कि अगर मोंगोडीबी को यूआईडीएआई के डेटा सेंटर्स में एडमिनिस्ट्रेटर का दर्जा हासिल हो तो वह कुछ भी कर सकती है, यहां तक कि कभी भी पूरा सिस्टम ध्वस्त कर सकती है। उन्होंने कहा कि अगर यूआईडीएआई मोंगोडीबी से कमर्शियल रिलेशनशिप बनाए बगैर केवल सोर्स कोड का उपयोग करे तो भी उसे सोर्स कोड का ऑडिट करना चाहिए कि इसे बैक डोर से सीआईए ने तो पेश नहीं किया है। अब्राहम ने कहा कि स्नोडेन के खुलासे को देखते हुए यह जरूरी है।


  • #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="" target="_blank"> #India – Pay Rs 500 and get an #Aadhaar: Sting operation #UID #WTFnews



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Aadharism is one religion India can do without #UID #Aadhar #Aadhaar




India is a nation run by the nervous and ruined by the netas. They spin their web with utmost care, and every now and then an unsuspecting prey, someone trying to earn an honest living – a teacher, an engineer, a doctor, a journalist – gets entangled. The more he thrashes his limbs, the more he alerts those who wait patiently at the centre. They have him; he cannot escape; he can only join in if he is to survive.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was one such catch; Nandan Nilekani is another. A co-founder of Infosys, sharp, sure, confident, he now spends his days holding satsangs and proselytizing the new religion he helped co-found: Aadhaarism.

The birth of an idea necessitates the birth of a missionary. Men need to be won over much before their nations are. As Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian writer put it: Before you came we had the land and you the bible. Now we have the bible and you the land.

Politicians have always had dreams, their grand ideas, to take the nation forward. Somehow we’ve managed to resist a complete takeover. But now, without our asking, they have handed to us these dreams and taken in return what we treasure most – our identity. The trade-off is fraught with danger. Rajiv Gandhi’s plaything, theIkkisvi Shatabdi, is now a digital playground, and all it takes for a life to be ruined is a jab on a touch screen. This is how nations are fooled and the gullible led to the guillotine.

In their race to push the numbers over some Planning Commission Bell curve, the Aadhaarites have changed the rules of the game: if you want a bank account or a marriage certificate, or want to avail of state subsidy – wheat, rice, ration card, gas cylinder – you’d better get in line at the nearest Aadhaar camp. An unwavering faith in one’s belief has the potential to lead a nation to ruin but who cares. Whip up sycophantic support for an idea, scare the people into believing that it is ultimately good for them, and finally, have a pliant media to carry the message. It works every time.

This is not about trashing the Planning Commission or Nandan or, indeed, Aadhaar. As with most ideologies and ideas – new or borrowed – the passage of time is what seals their fate, not the opinion of an individual or a group. Anupam Saraph, in an article published in Moneylife titledAadhaar: The number that makes a nation ‘Niradhaar’, outlines the many dangers of Aadhaar and its mass implementation: Banks can no longer verify if the Aadhaar number links to real and unique individuals; money transfers from Aadhaar accounts will not be audited if there is less than Rs 10 lakh transferred in a year, meaning that subsidy, bribes and black money may go to untraceable shell accounts; money can be moved from Aadhaar-to-Aadhaar electronically without one’s knowledge; if biometric verification fails, one will lose all benefits until credentials are re-established; the enrolment agencies, sub-registrars, registrars and the Unique Identification Authority of India, or UIDAI have no legal liability for any theft, fraud, crime, and compromise of security or privacy.

Ramakumar in The Hindu goes further, exploding the many myths that surround Aadhaarism, like for example that Aadhaar is the equivalent of the US social security number, or that identity theft can be eliminated using biometrics.

Both Saraph and Ramakumar have a point. 400 million Indians now have these reward cards  but the UIDAI has as yet only “envisaged” criminal penalties against fraud or unauthorized access to data. “Hacking is an offence,” it says reassuringly.

Alarmed, the Intelligence Bureau has jumped in, voicing serious concerns over Aadhaar. “This is a country where phone companies carry out antecedent checks before giving a phone, but there are no checks and balances before giving a terrorist a new identity,” it was quoted recently as saying. And it is only last month, four years after Aadhaar was launched amid much fanfare, that the RBI has thought fit to circulate a memorequiring all banks to follow the e-KYC protocol in order to avoid Aadhaar-based fraud. For four years, a simple letter issued by the UIDAI containing customer details was accepted as an “Officially Valid Document” for carrying out all banking transactions. Four years! Perhaps that’s the time it takes for the bean to reach the grinder so we can wake up and smell the coffee.

While some may scoff at the Armageddon imagined by Saraph – his short and crisp bullet points only heightening the fear – it is a fact that many, if not all, of the potential pitfalls of this scheme have never been discussed at length in public forums. What has been discussed at length is the supremacy of Aadhaarism, in cosy advocacies and walk ’n talks. The slick PowerPoint presentations and the chest-beatings of a quasi-Olympian dream – faster, longer, higher – all talk of a card for every Indian, a source of direct money transfer, an end to corruption.

This, then, was UPA’s coup d’état, its grand plan. All they needed was an expert to stamp his approval. Nandan was roped in, to rapturous applause. But a standing ovation hides those who prefer to slip their hands underneath their thighs at such moments of grandstanding. When a politician says, “There’s no going back,” what he really wants is to be allowed to go forward come what may. What else explains the fact that Nandan has been made a part of every single committee that is out to make Aadhaar mandatory? Is this how decisions are made in our country? The only conflict a neta doesn’t seem to understand, it appears, is that of interest.

Yes, India is young; the demographics are in our favour. But what does it say about the state of affairs, when those riding into the sunset have to get off their weary horse and join in the struggle? These are men and women who built this nation from scratch, frittered away their youth so we may see a better tomorrow. It takes some doing to get them to fold their blankets and empty their hot water bottles and come onto the streets brandishing their Zimmerframes.

Meet Usha Lal, an 80 year-old trying to eke out a living on a monthly pension of Rs. 1500, a sum that was refused to her because she couldn’t furnish an Aadhaar card. “I went to the post office twice,” she told a reporter, “but my fingerprints couldn’t be recorded in the biometric machine.”  There are numerous such examples of sweat and blood and dirt having eroded the ruts of old and rickety fingers. If only the biometric machine could register the angst and the helplessness…

Some, though, have clearly had enough. KS Puttaswamy, an 88 year-old retired judge of the Karnataka high court, has filed a writ petition challenging the legal validity of Aadhaar. The Aadhaar project, he says, has not only been rejected by a Parliamentary body, it is also wholly illegal and infringes on the right to privacy, a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution. “We are required to part with biometric information, iris and fingerprints, and there is no system to ensure that all this data will be safe and not misused. There are also grave dangers in making state benefits conditional upon an Aadhaar Card. Why must I get an Aadhaar when I already have a ration card?”

When told that the government has already spent Rs. 50,000 crores on the scheme, the Justice doesn’t hold back. “That so much has been squandered without analysing the benefits or dangers of this scheme shows a disregard for public money. I think they didn’t think this through. In fact, there were voices even within the government that were opposed to it.”

Justice Puttaswamy’s petition came up for hearing in the Supreme Court on September 23, 2013. Disputing the government claim that Aadhaar card was voluntary, the petitioner mentioned the fact that, far from it being the case, many states had “embarked upon making it compulsory for a range of formalities, including marriage registration, disbursal of salaries and provident fund. Even the Bombay High Court Registrar had issued a notification asking court employees to have the Aadhaar card for disbursal of employment-related benefits!

There were heated arguments from both sides before the Court passed an interim order that must have made the missionaries dizzy and nauseous.

“List all matters for final hearing after the Constitution Bench is over,” said the Court. “In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory.” The government, unrepentant, is currently thinking of challenging the Supreme Court order.

Why are people being forced to accept an idea? Why is an otherwise intelligent man, someone deservedly credited with helping India become a leader in IT, why is he being forced to lead a nation down an unexplored coal pit? Who is pushing the entangled Nandan? To be sure, whoever this person is, he or she isn’t the pioneer when it comes to forced conversions. That honour goes to none other than Karan Singh, the soft-spoken heir to the Kashmir throne who was also the Health minister during the Emergency. Today, the citizens are being forcibly asked to get an Aadhaar card if they want state benefits. Back then it was a little more drastic – they were being forcibly sterilized.

Wikileaks Cable Entry No. 1976NEWDE06365_b

Date: April 26, 1976

Subject: Compulsory sterilization measures: growing pressures in Delhi

Classification: CONFIDENTIAL

“An intensive program is underway to make Delhi the model of a vigorous family planning program for the entire country. It is certain that some officials have compelled persons to be sterilized. The monetary incentive for vasectomy has been increased…nutrition scheme for children will be withdrawn from families with two or more children if the parents are unable to produce a certificate of sterilization. The Delhi authority also is considering requiring sterilization for ration cardholders with more than two children. Subsidized industrial housing will not be allotted to unsterilized workers with two or more children…Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra have proposed legislation for compulsory sterilization after two children. Uttar Pradesh has proposed compulsory legislation after three children.

Health minister Karan Singh said compulsory sterilization, as such, was not a part of this plan, but enforced disincentives and incentives are being considered. Also, incentives in the form of allocations of resources to states if the states conduct a vigorous family planning program are being planned. Karan Singh said he will closely watch progress over the next few years and make a judgment after the 1981 census as to whether or not there is an appreciable reduction in the population growth rate. If not, then legislation would have to be passed for more drastic measures. In regard to compulsory sterilization, he felt this will have to be considered if the family planning program did not achieve greater success.

…Nutrition scheme for children will be withdrawn…Subsidized industrial housing will not be allotted…Incentives in the form of allocations of resources to states…Such was the steadfast belief in one’s idea; such was the Triumph of the Will…

The tenets of Aadhaarism are simple: payment for helotry is dough, punishment for heresy death. Death of civil liberties, of subsidies, and, ironically, of one’s unique identity.

This is one religion India can do without

Read more here-

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Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 10, 2013

Hit hard by the Supreme Court and confusion, the plan to turn you into a number on government computers has come a cropper — at least for now.

It began with much fanfare. On September 29, 2010, after giving an Aadhaar number to Rajana Sonawane of Tembhli village in Nandurbar in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said it was “a beginning of a big effort for the welfare of the common man”.

Why? “The poor did not have any identity proof … they could not open bank accounts or get ration cards. They could not avail the benefits of government welfare programmes… and many times, these benefits were pocketed by others.”

But three years later, the UPA’s supposedly “game-changer” scheme to deliver benefits directly to the poor — ahead of the 2014 elections — has been stopped in its tracks by the Supreme Court.

On a petition filed by a former Karnataka high court judge, the top court said on September 23 that no one could be denied welfare scheme benefits for not having an Aadhaar number.

Its argument: If Aadhaar is voluntary, why make its possession mandatory for availing benefits? Plus, the government needs to arm itself with a law to ask for intrusive data from the applicants. Meanwhile, some states went ahead and made Aadhaar numbers mandatory.

Some made it a must to get even marriages registered. In Delhi, several welfare entitlements are linked to it. In Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Aadhaar numbers are necessary for availing of pension, scholarships and property registration. Maharashtra even went to the extent of making salary payments to the teaching and non-teaching staff Aadhaar-linked.

As the order came as a blow to the government’s plan to capitalise on Aadhaar-linked welfare schemes and direct benefit transfer in an election year, it rushed to the top court with a plea for the permission to roll out DBT on subsidised LPG cylinders. But the court refused to oblige.

What’s more, former National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy questioned the scheme before the Supreme Court, saying private contractors and NGOs — hired by Unique Identification Authority of India — collected biometric details, but there was no safeguard against their misuse.

The Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the National Identification Authority of India Bill, which will give legal backing to the UIDAI and can potentially answer the questions posed by the top court.

But even if the bill is passed, the legal battle cannot be said to be over. For, those opposed to Aadhaar will, in all probability, challenge the new law on the grounds of violation of privacy, claiming the data collected by UIDAI is intrusive in nature.

The battle looks to be a long one.

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