The UIDAI sought to calm qualms over data protection and privacy issues around the 12 digit biometric identifier, asserting that Aadhaar is for identification and not a profiling tool. Though the push for Aadhaar is in clear violation of the Supreme Court order to refrain from making the ID mandatory, save for a few services. The apex court is also yet to determine the constitutionality of Aadhaar and is still to take a call on whether privacy is a fundamental right.
It’s worth noting that the Aadhaar fails to guarantee privacy, and allows for mass surveillance of citizens under the guise of “national security”, a term which is vague and undefined under law. Citizens have no recourse under the law, and Section 47 of the Act prescribes that only the UIDAI can file a criminal complaint for theft of data.
Moreover, the government can no longer distinguish citizens from residents. It cannot distinguish legal residents from illegal residents. As in the failure of an immune system to recognise a foreign invasion from the self, the government makes more and more uses of Aadhaar mandatory loosing reason and ability to protect citizens and ensuring their well being. The Supreme Court of India appears to be turning a blind eye to the government’s violation of its order. Are laws and orders only valid when the SC chooses to enforce them?
Aadhaar enrolment was completely outsourced to private parties with the sole aim of building the world’s largest biometric database. Needless to say that anyone in possession of your documents could enroll with minor changes in any demographic information. Field stories of enrolments are full with descriptions of biometric “jugaad” including using combination of persons, use of biometric masks, biometric modifications, and other ingenious methods to maximise registrations.
Unlike the Passport Officer, the RTO, the Electoral Officer, the CEO of UIDAI does not take any legal liability to certify the number as a proof of anyone’s identity, address or existence. Furthermore no one has verified or audited the database to establish how many of the billion numbers that are linked to data submitted by the outsourced parties are from real individuals!
The seeding of other databases with the Aadhaar number is also unlike any other identification document. This seeding threatens to exclude the genuine and include the fake into other existing databases by seeding Aadhaar to other databases. The case of over 13,000 fake employees in Satyam who got salaries every month for years before being exposed is still fresh in India. Once stolen, the thief, to perpetuate crimes that will be attributed to you and may be difficult, if not impossible, for you to deny, can use your biometric, in a multiple of ways differing in simplicity and ease.
It is precisely this difference between the enrolment and use models of the Aadhaar in comparison with any other ID are a threat to you as well as the nation. Your rights, benefits and entitlements will be subject to your Aadhaar working and not being disabled by intention or error. Already huge numbers of those who have an Aadhaar have been denied their rights, benefits or entitlements for these reasons. To date more than 85 lakh Aadhaar numbers have been disabled by the UIDAI without assigning reasons.
Those without an Aadhaar are being treated as unequal, often with denial to their rights, entitlements and benefits. For example the IT department does not process the returns or refunds of non-Aadhaar taxpayers in the same way as those of persons with an Aadhaar. Aadhaar is single point of failure to declare your “civil death”. This means you will be removed from all government registers and cease to exist as far as the government is concerned. Moreover, Aadhaar has turned the government official to your master, rather than being your servant. Anytime, even when not needed, you could be asked for Aadhaar or your authentication is sabotaged to deny you dignity and equality besides your entitlements.
Aadhaar is the single point for fraudsters to hack your identity, commit crime and rob you of your property, dignity, liberty, equality and access to justice. Bank accounts opened using your Aadhaar, property transactions, purchases, registration of contracts in your identity will no longer be in your control or with your knowledge and traceability. Because the use of your stored biometric in these instances will leave little deniability, if you are accused of these acts, it will destroy your right to justice.
Meanwhile one need to even know that the Aadhaar allows terrorists, criminals to create millions of fake identities, duplicates and uses them to park black money, park bribes, finance terror and siphon subsidies and funds from the Consolidated Fund of India. Any government does not certify the Aadhaar official. The Aadhaar database has never been verified or audited by anyone.
Aadhaar destroys our ability to distinguish a citizen from an illegal immigrant. All documents like passport, driver’s licenses etc can be obtained by using Aadhaar that can be illegally obtained with fake documents. It is therefore like the disease AIDS for the country.
What is the life situation where you cannot be identified by your own assertion of who you are? Imagine about a situation where you can’t be identified by an introduction from a common friend? Have you ever thought a circumstance where you cannot be identified from the photograph on an id issued to you by the very agency that issued you the photo id?
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