By- Anupam Saraph
In yet another shocking admission the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) admitted, in response to a RTI query, that it does not certify the identity, address, date of birth, resident status or existence of any individual or any Aadhaar number. The UIDAI has in a previous RTI had responded making it evident that it cannot identify anyone.
The admission that the UIDAI does not certify anything is a blow to every organisation and process that relies on the UIDAI for certifying the identity, address, date of birth, resident status or existence of any individual. It is now evident that not only is nothing identified, nothing is certified by the UIDAI.
The UIDAI also admitted that the biometric data of an individual does not pull up a unique record. This is an admission that the biometrics does not uniquely identify any person. This completely demolishes the myth of providing an unique identity to Indians.
The UIDAI has no idea about the identification documents used to assign an Aadhaar number to enrolment packets submitted by the enrolment agencies. This has damning repercussions for the genuineness of the entire Aadhaar database. In a previous RTI the UIDAI had admitted that the Aadhaar database or the processes of reduplication had never been subject to verification or audit. Now an admission that even the data about the documents submitted for enrolment are not known to the UIDAI. Private agencies were paid for each enrolment packet they submitted. Private agencies also benefit by being able to use ghost identities that they may have created to claim subsidies, park black money, do benami transactions, and launder money.
The RTI replies call to question the very basis of using the Aadhaar as a means to identify anyone, to use it to establish age, resident status, address or even existence of a person. It calls to question the use of Aadhaar in governance and financial systems.
The UIDAI has refused information about the enrolment operators and supervisors registered with the UIDAI. Only 20 registrar’s 8 State Governments and 12 PSUs had hired enrolment agencies who hired these operators. The 20 Registrars put together do not have a geographical reach to the 707 districts, 600,000 villages and 5,000 towns and cities of India. With the information of enrolment operators being withheld, the entire enrolment process to create the worlds largest biometric database is called to question.
The Supreme Court of India is hearing more than 22 PILs challenging the use of Aadhaar. The RTI replies make it evident that two successive governments have been taken for a complete ride by private interests controlling the Aadhaar ecosystem. The entire Aadhaar database is not worth the cost of the media used to store it and is the biggest technology scam since the invention of computers. It possesses the biggest risk to national security as every database in the country capable of identifying the citizens and beneficiaries is being replaced or destroyed by the Aadhaar database. Linking, seeding or using Aadhaar to construct or replace existing databases will make it impossible to protect the country’s economic, social, security and governance processes as they fail to identify threats, frauds, corruption, money laundering, and cyber war.