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Aadhar - Questions for UIDAI?

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"...What is the problem the UIDAI seeks to address?

A universally acceptable proof of identity is a challenge in India, the singular problem that the UIDAI seeks to solve is that of establishing “identity” by providing every individual a unique identification number (called Aadhaar) and streamlining the process of enrollment and setting uniform standards to be followed for enrollment for the number. Once a person has Aadhaar , their basic identity linked to their biometrics is established. An AADHAAR number will be proof of identity of a person acceptable anywhere in India..."  - UIDAI

The name "Aadhar" or UIDAI creates many eyebrows. Some with valid and important concerns, some very scary, some fearful and some cynical. Many analysts have written on this subject from one extreme of 100% support to other extreme of totally opposed. But all analysis hav one underlying common  concern - Privacy and data integrity.

Even in my last post on UID process in B'lore, A Praja member 'publicagenda' had raised similar questions. In the interest of citizens and Praja as citizen activism platform, I am taking up the cause of getting answers to questions on UID. I have framed a set of questions to UIDAI. In addition I would look forward to Praja members in suggesting additional questions to UIDAI. After few days I will collate all the questions and final list will be emailed to the UIDAI authority. In my recent email query, UIDAI had been very prompt in responding. I do hope we will get all the answers we are looking forward to.

Also I must admit here that, the website of UIDAI is one government website which has up to date information pertinent to citizens and meeting the base transparency and accountability requirements.

List of Questions to UIDAI

1. What technology is being used by UIDAI for - Biometrics, Data entry, Data integrity, UID Data storage, Security of Data and data authentication?

2. How do UIDAI ensures the data integrity when it is transferred from recording station to the central database?

3. Moving forward how does UIDAI plan to enroll all the new born once the current process gets completed?

4. How does the births and deaths registrations affects UID database?

5. Information on technology and security processes that governs the authentication requests?

6. What are the biometric challenges that UIDAI has taken into consideration and what methods/process adopted by UIDAI to overcome these challenges?

7. How secure is the centralized database in terms of physical security and cyber security?

8. How is the redundancy and integrity of data is ensured in the events of natural calamities, acts of terror and violence?

9. What level of personal privacy is taken care by UIDAI?

10. How do UIDAI has planned to prevent the misuse of UID data by private and unscrupulous elements?

11. How do citizens take up the case of their UID data? Complaining authority? Redress mechanisms?

12. What are the checks and balances that have been incorporated to prevent - internal misuse by UIDAI personnel, state misuse, misuse by private and unscrupulous entities.

13. How do UIDAI ensures the elimination of inaccuracies in recording data and process to correct the inaccuracies post data entry?

14. Since the UID data is residing in computer resource, does it cover under "Information Technology Act 2000" and IAT amendment 2008?

15. Do UIDAI considers the initial application duly filled an signed by applicants as legal consent?

16. Do the UID holder after successful registration, will have the access to his UID data?

17. Whether the data is encrypted in storage? not just when data is exchanged?

Technology sourcing from Vendors

18. What is the screening process for vendors adopted by UIDAI for supply of services and products?

19. What security considerations are adopted in selecting the vendors?

20. What quality standards are applied to verify the deliverables by the vendors?

21. What liability clauses are applied against the vendors during the awards of the contracts?

22. There are allegations of impropriety in awarding the contracts to vendors like L-1 Identity Solutions? What do UIDAI has to say on this?

23. There is serious allegations of compromise on national security in awarding contracts to vendors like L-1 Identity Solutions, which are alleged to have company directors who are associated with other country's intelligent agencies. How do UIDAI would like to respond to this allegation?

Total Project Cost

24. What are the cost estimates for whole project?

25. What are the cost estimates for yearly maintenance and operation of UIDAI?

26. What is cost incurred by UIDAI on each UID enrollment?

27. Total cost incurred by UIDAI as of March 31, 2011?

Pls do chip in with your questions and concerns.




psaram42's picture

New born and UDAI

207 users have liked.

Including New born in UDAI may not be that difficult after all. GOK and UDAI can take for example appropriate steps for making all maternity hospitals in Karnataka to account new born children by linking the child with the parents Adhar card to start with. The parent's Adhar card, I believe, in turn will be linked to all their

  1. Bank account
  2. Driving License
  3. Gas connection
  4. Electricity connections
  5. etc
  6. etc.

We should in all fairness discount the credibility of people Like Nandan who come from Infosys. Credibility of Infosys is well established taking into account its stock value today. >)) Nandan being made a minister in central cabinet cannot be for nothing, IMHO. 

When a person dies his card will be updated as invalid by its link to bank and other accounts.

All points raised by you above are very valid and well taken sir. I for one am excited about ADHAR. Is it not like the social security number in USA Saied sahib? May be it is like a double edged sword which can hurt the wielder if not careful!



vn_langames's picture

IS there a way to remove yourself from Aadhar project ?

188 users have liked.


Since Aadhar is optional, is there a provision to remove yourself from the Aadhar project after getting enrolled?

When Aadhar camp came to our place, we were not aware that it was optional, and most people confused it with NPR which is mandatory. I think the people behind Aadhar did not educate the common man about the project itself or its difference between NPR.

Also I heard that the UIDAI does not have constitutional status, which means they do not have the right to collect the biometric data and link it with his personal information.

So now Many of my friends and I are having second thoughts about this and would definitely like to get ourselves removed from this database.

vn_langames's picture

Doubts about aadhar and npr

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Section 69 of the Information technology Act of 2003 states "Section 69 empowers the Central Government/State Government/ its authorized agency to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource if it is necessary or expedient so to do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence or for investigation of any offence."

This means the Gov can share any information colelcted from its citizens (including biometrics) with other parties if it decides so. I am really worried about this.

This is a huge amount of adata about citizens in a volatile country like India. During the  holocaust, Hitler used IBM computers to search to records and find out every Jew in Germany. NPR and Aadahr pose such a threat. In case of a communal riot, these databases could be used by mallicious party to do profiling based on incom, race, and religion. 

Another disturbing thing about the aadhar is the agencies that are collecting the information on behalf of UIDAI.  These private companies include foreign companies like L1 Identity solutions (now MorphoTrust USA) and Accenture that have even ex-CIA officials on board and as staff.
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