oppn parties Lots of Sudhaar Needed in Aadhaar

News Snippets

  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
  • All 6 Bahujan Samaj Party MLAs merge with the Congress in Rajasthan
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to meet PM Modi on Wednesday, state issues on the agenda
  • Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9
  • Rajeev Kumar, ex-police commissioner of Kolkata and wanted for questioning in the Sarada scam does not appear before the CBI despite the state administration requesting him to do so
  • Supreme Court asks the Centre to restore normalcy in J&K but keeping national interest in mind
  • As Trump accepts the invitation to attend a programme in Houston with PM Modi, India rushes to settle trade issues with US
  • After drone attack on Aramco's Suadi Arabia facility, oil prices jump 19% in intra-day trading causing worries for India
  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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Lots of Sudhaar Needed in Aadhaar

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
It is criminal to commit a crime and then destroy evidence, including making an attempt to destroy the evidence. Hence, if one commits a murder and then hides, or tries to hide, the murder weapon, one compounds the crime. By registering a FIR against Rachna Khaira, the reporter of The Tribune newspaper, who broke the news of Aadhaar data being sold for just Rs 500, the government is attempting to compound the crime committed by UIDAI in exposing citizen’s private data to multiple unauthorized agencies. In classic mafia tradition, the government is shooting the messenger for bringing the bad news. Also, it is a flagrant attempt to browbeat the media. How is a reporter to be held guilty if she has exposed a racket that accesses and sells the private data of the citizens from the Aadhaar database? It is the UIDAI that should be held guilty. The reporter, in fact, should be rewarded for her outstanding work.

Any responsible and caring government would listen to the grievances of the citizens and try to redress them, even if it means going back to the drawing board for applying its pet scheme. But this government, tutored in a devious manner by the UIDAI, is trying to bulldoze its way out of the predicament it finds itself in over the safety of, and occasional leakage of, Aadhaar data. There is no doubt that linking Aadhaar with various government schemes will stop huge leakage of funds and eliminate crony capitalism and linking it with certain investments and payments will ensure that people do not make the same with unaccounted money. It will go a long way in bringing transparency in government spending and eliminating shady transactions. But whatever benefits the linking brings, it certainly cannot be at the cost of compromising the private data of the citizens.

The UIDAI has been tasked with gathering the data and developing and applying the software that would enable linking of Aadhaar with whatever the government has in mind. Obviously, this also means that the UIDAI will put in place robust systems that would prevent unauthorized persons from accessing this data. But it has been proven multiple times that the security systems of UIDAI are not robust enough to prevent unauthorized access. Instead of taking the UIDAI to task, the government picks on those who expose its shortcomings. Of course, nothing better can be expected from a government that had told the Supreme Court that it does not consider privacy to be a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Supreme Court has clearly stated that “the right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution.” Of course, this right is not absolute but one thing is certain – no government can force the people to give their personal information and biometrics and then be lax enough to let unauthorized persons access the data – for profit or otherwise. The UIDAI claims that the biometrics have not be compromised (should we be grateful for small mercies?) as if unauthorized access to name, address, telephone number, date of birth etc does not matter at all. As the case challenging the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar is being heard in the apex court, UIDAI will have to ensure that its database conforms to the parameters of privacy. These leakages prove that UIDAI has compromised privacy. Will the court now scrap Aadhaar?