Privacy is culture specific, MNCs hit by Aadhaar, says TRAI chief

A clutch of petitions filed by those opposing what they call the unchecked use of Aadhaar is currently in the Supreme Court.

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi | Published:June 1, 2017 5:25 am
Aadhaar Card, Aadhaar privacy, TRAI The TRAI chairman defended UIDAI’s decision to send the notice to CIS and said that there were no leakages from Aadhaar, or decryption of of biometric data from the UIDAI server.

Questioning the anti-Aadhaar campaigns by non-governmental organisations and civil society groups, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) Chairman R S Sharma, who is also the former Director General of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), said that various multinational companies were being affected by Aadhaar as it was in conflict with their attempts to create their own database of users.

“It’s making a mountain out of a molehill. There are motivated campaigns being launched. Various multinationals are getting affected. There are companies, which are creating their own identities. Someone has called it digital colonisation. The fingerprint scanners on smartphones can be easily used for authenticating Aadhaar but they don’t allow it. A lot of fraudulent or benami transactions can go down because of Aadhaar,” Sharma told The Indian Express. While he refused to elaborate on these multinationals, the remarks are an apparent reference to Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Google.

Sharma’s remarks come at a time when civil society groups have flagged serious concerns on issues such as privacy and accountability that arise from the Centre’s increasing use of Aadhaar. A clutch of petitions filed by those opposing what they call the unchecked use of Aadhaar is currently in the Supreme Court.

Recently, a Bengaluru-based NGO — Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) — released a report suggesting 130 million Aadhaar numbers were leaked on government portals. CIS later updated its report to say that there were no “leaks” or “leakages” but a “public disclosure”. The UIDAI served a show-cause notice to CIS, asking it to explain its claims.

The TRAI chairman defended UIDAI’s decision to send the notice to CIS and said that there were no leakages from Aadhaar, or decryption of of biometric data from the UIDAI server. At the same time, Sharma made a case for having a comprehensive data protection law in the country. “There is a need for a larger data protection law. In today’s digitally connected world, data protection law is a must. Data security, its protocols, rules, responsibilities, accountabilities, damage, payments, compensations, all these issues must come in that law,” he said.

“Aadhaar Act, itself, is very self-contained, which takes into account all data protection and privacy issues,” Sharma said, adding that privacy was a cultural concept. “Privacy is a culture specific concept, which they are trying to import here. Except for NGOs, has any individual or poor person complained, or filed a case about privacy?” he asked.

In a recent interview to The Indian Express, Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad had tried to allay fears of any loopholes in the Aadhaar security system and said “this systematic campaign against Aadhaar comes as a surprise for me”. He said that the voter ID information was also in public domain, but “I don’t see any campaign there”.

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  1. #
    #AADHAARFAIL
    Jun 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm
    1. 25 lakh families in Rajasthan are unable to withdraw ration even after seeding #AADHAARFAIL with their ration card. 2. #AADHAAR authentication does not work for half billion Indians. 3. AADHAAR authentication does not work most of the time 4. AADHAAR bio-metrics can be stolen, printed and used for #AADHAAR pay 5. #AADHAAR does not work for NRIs, people outside India 6. AADHAR can not be generated if a person's fingerprint matches with someone else's with 60 percentage probability. 7. Rogue government can deactivate your #AADHAAR blocking your gas, electricity, mobile, bank account 8. AADHAAR works for millions of illegals staying in India 9. AADHAAR is blocking subsidies for millions of legitimate people 10. Take 10 lakh insurance for each #AADHAAR failure case or delete aadhaar bio-metrics from aadhaar database, archive and deactivate #AADHAAR. Jai Hind.
    Reply
    1. #
      #AADHAARFAIL
      Jun 27, 2017 at 9:06 am
      1. AADHAAR authentication does not work most of the time 2. AADHAAR bio-metrics can be stolen, printed and used for #AADHAAR pay 3. #AADHAAR does not work for NRIs, people outside India 4. AADHAR can not be generated if a person's fingerprint matches with someone else's with 60 percentage probability. 5. Rogue government can deactivate your #AADHAAR blocking your gas, electricity, mo bile, bank account 6. AADHAAR works for illegals 7. AADHAAR is blocking subsidies for millions of legitimate people 8. Take 10 lakh insurance for each #AADHAAR failure case or shut down shop
      Reply
      1. #
        #AADHAARFAIL
        Jun 2, 2017 at 5:44 am
        1. AADHAAR authentication does not work most of the time 2. AADHAAR bio-metrics can be stolen, printed and used for #AADHAAR pay 3. #AADHAAR does not work for NRIs, people outside India 4. AADHAR can not be generated if a person's fingerprint matches with someone else's with 60 probability. 5. Rogue government can deactivate your #AADHAAR blocking your gas, electricity, mo bile, bank account 6. AADHAAR works for p1kisatanis, bangladeshis 7. AADHAAR is blocking subsidies for millions of legitimate people 8. Take 10 lakh insurance for each #AADHAAR failur case or shut down shop
        Reply
        1. #
          #AADHAARFAIL
          Jun 2, 2017 at 4:15 am
          AADHAAR is destined to fail, stan will collect all fingerprints by opening an Airtel customer center, print the fingerprint and use it for #AADHAAR pay authentication to clean all bank account. A rogue #AADHAAR agent from stan can cause iden y mayhem to the level, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad can not even imagine!
          Reply
          1. S
            sukanto ghosh
            Jun 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm
            INDIANS: DONKEYS OR RATS OR THIEVES ? FINGERPRINT THE THIEVES! A US TRADE OFFICIAL, CARLA HILLS, had once triggered a massive outrage by cal Indians thieves and criminals. FINGERPRINT ALL THE THIEVES AND CRIMINALS !!……Is this not exactly one of the achievements of the Aadhaar? We have, by our actions, seemingly agreed to what Carla Hills had said: Indians are Thieves and Criminals.
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            1. N
              neha
              Jun 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm
              It is interesting to remember that Modi too, like Jaitley, was opposed to the Aadhaar project. At the BJP's rally in Tiruchirappalli in September 2013, Modi had stated : “Congressmen are dancing as if [Aadhaar] was a herb for all cures. With the Supreme Court pul up the Centre, people are now seeking answers from the Prime Minister who should disclose how much money had been spent...Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should answer how much money has been spent on it, where did all the funds go and who had benefited from it”. Why has Modi jumped into the Aadhaar bandwagon now after claiming that it was no “herb for all cures”? Why has his government suddenly lost respect for the Supreme Court's “pul up”? In my view, the answer is simple. After coming to power, Modi has realised the utility of Aadhaar as an instrument to further entrench a neo-liberal social policy. No wonder the UPA and the NDA are called the “neo-liberal twins”!
              Reply
              1. B
                Brijesh
                Jun 1, 2017 at 6:40 pm
                Despite BJP's concerns over AADHAR , UPA govt went with it. They already put the system there. UPA did not use Addhar for anything. NDA govt is at least making use of the system to streamline things and stop pilferage in govt subsidies etc. You seems to have issue with that.
                Reply
              2. S
                sandhya nair
                Jun 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm
                Jaitley's positioning of the Bill as pro-poor and welfare-oriented is nothing but a clever ploy to mask the real intentions behind the Bill. the real intention of Aadhaar is not to improve welfare or reduce poverty, but to effect a neo-liberal transformation of the state's role in the social sector. The first is a SHIFT FROM UNIVERSALISM TO TARGETING. Aadhaar is not intended to expand social service provisions. Its aim is to keep benefits restricted to “targeted” sections, ensure targeting with technological precision, and thus limit the government's fiscal commitments.
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                  neha
                  Jun 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm
                  The Aadhaar Bill also has a dangerous wording of the phrase “biometric information” in Chapter I. It is defined as: “photograph, fingerprint, iris scan, or other such biological attributes of an inividual ...”. We are aware that only a photograph, 10 fingerprints and two iris scans were collected during Aadhaar enrollment. What are these “other such biological attributes”, when no such attribute was actually collected? Is this a reference to the proposed and HUGELY CONTROVERSIAL HUMAN DNA PROfi BILL OF 2015? Will the government now begin to collect and store DNA samples of citizens and then argue that the Aadhaar Bill provides it with legislative sanction? No clarifications have been provided. Jaitley, in his urge to curtail democratic discussion, has probably pushed in a draconian law.
                  Reply
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