Let us understand this through a simple analogy. Download a new application on your Google Android smartphone. It notifies and seeks permission to access the system tools and controls like storage, network communication and location on your smartphone.
Here the government is google, android is UIDAI, and your smartphone is your aadhar number.
Now when we avail different services linked with aadhar, we give our sensitive information logs like time, location and services availed to UIDAI. It would be a cakewalk to keep track of users activities. In this case, the government can control the citizens likes botnets.
We have a right to accept or deny these simply deleting the application from our phone to safeguard our privacy, but these commands of free choice are banished by our government that is severely pushing the use of aadhar in the name of reformative measures. A company like WhatsApp or Instagram may argue that it provides free services, so they make up for it by selling the data to other businesses. However, once a government follows the same footsteps it's different ball game. If the government can't work in the interest of people, then such government should be no longer needed.
Transparency for the State. Privacy for the citizensDepending upon corrupt and visionless bureaucracy for policy making is not going to make things better for citizens. The government must realise its mistakes and understand that aadhar is ill-conceived. It should engage with civil societies to formulate an improved course of action for establishing a universal ID rather than bullying its way through causing inconvenience and misuse of power. People must control their own data. not the government, Not UIDAI, not private companies. It is Not the case with aadhar, a central repository of billion Indians is a dangerous idea.
Expansion of aadhar in business services is even more worrying. An ecosystem that can enable tracking, profiling and tagging. The third party that offers services can collate the data of individuals Know your customer is When the aadhar will be rolled into private services through seeding. The advent of big data has made it possible to analyse the patterns of user behaviour and tendencies. One may argue, that it would be beneficial in providing better services to the customer but it maximises the potential of damage and corporations privately lobbying for the government.
Linking aadhar with every service would invite trouble. The government is updated of what people are using, buying, spending, eating, travelling and resistance against such a regime would get harder by the day.
India against Aadhar (IAA)
Disobedience to a regime that relies on massive data mining can take many forms, from aggressively encrypting personal information to leaking government secrets, but all will require conviction and courage. A journalist was arrested for pointing out vulnerabilities in the aadhar system. The Finance Minister is quick to retort to the editorials that question the government's way of working, but, he has no definite solution to provide to the citizens.
It is time we raise our voice against aadhar. It should either be worked out well before it can become a part of law and order system. There are no proper redressal systems to deal with identity theft. Adopting a trail and error approach to such an important matter is foolish.
#IndiaAgainstAadhar is a digital movement to enlighten the people about the security implications of aadhar.
In our series of next post on aadhar, we are going to enforce our ideas of fixing loopholes and establishing safeguards to ensure a safe system that keeps the data safe and encrypted from both state and non-state actors.