‘UID is a bad policy, fails constitutional tests’

Privacy under attack: Economist Reetika Khera addressing the audience in the Capital on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Shanker Chakravarty

At the 32nd annual Dr. Ramanadham Memorial Meeting, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights organised a discussion on “A very curious State, the UID: welfare, surveillance, privacy and democratic rights”, here on Saturday.

Speaking at the event, economist Reetika Khera said the Unique Identification (UID) was nothing but a “bad idea and a bad policy”. “The project fails two constitutional tests — right to life and right to privacy. It is causing more harm than good,” said Ms. Khera.

Chance of misuse

“Identity fraud is only a minor problem of the whole project while the quantity fraud is more important. People are still not getting the ration they are entitled to. For the poor, the transaction costs have gone up for the same amount of entitlement they were receiving even earlier. This is a problem that Aadhaar has not been able to cure,” added Ms. Khera.

Speaking about the possible security and privacy issues, Ms. Khera said, “Once your data is all over the place, you lose control and there is more chance of misuse.”

Questioning the validity of this project, legal researcher Usha Ramanathan said, “While UID is supposedly ‘securing’ us, people like Gauri Lankesh are killed by ‘unknown’ people. On the other hand, the ‘known’ people are the ones who need to report to the State regularly.”

Contempt of court

“There are many issues with the project and the fact that it is being coerced is an indicator. There has also been contempt of court. Despite the court asking the government to not make it mandatory, both the governments went ahead and did so,” said Ms. Ramanathan. Both the speakers said that the project was structured keeping in mind corporate interests.

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Printable version | Oct 12, 2021 10:26:35 PM |

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