Skip to main content

Mandating aadhaar?: Transnational cos like Accenture, Safran, Ernst & Young "infringing" on privacy of citizens

By Our Representative
An upcoming civil rights group has taken strong objection to the Government of India seeking to "coerce" the country's residents into accepting 12 digit biometric UID/aadhaar mumber as a fait accompli at a time when a petition of right to privacy under aadhaar is under consideration of the Supreme Court.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of India, Gopal Krishna of the Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) has said that the privacy issue is particularly serious because "foreign transnational corporations like Accenture, Safran Group and Ernst & Young have been given the task with regard to biometric data of Indian residents."
The letter alleges, "Transnational entities and governments captured by them have declared an open war against citizens’ sensitive personal information like biometric data that paves the way for the enslavement of present and future generation of Indians through aadhaar database that lies on cloud beyond Indian jurisdiction."
"Such initiatives", the letter says, "must be stopped and boycotted else it will spread its tentacles in every sphere of life and mobility in the country."
The letter recalls, the Biometrics Standards Committee had "categorically stated that UID/aadhaar is meant only for civilian application”, yet the order on "aadhaar-enabled biometric attendance system has been extended to defence employees."
The letter contends, "The UID was first adopted by USA’s Department of Defence, later by NATO", adding, "It has subsequently been pushed through World Bank’s e-transform Initiative in partnership with France, South Korea, Gemalto, IBM, L1, Microsoft, Intel and Pfizer."
The letter says, "L1 was a US a company when it got a contract from UIDAI but it got purchased by French Conglomerate Safran Group after security clearance by the US government. This constitutes breach of national security as no such clearance was granted by Government of India."
Pointing out that countries like China, Australia, UK and France have “rejected such biometric data based identification projects”, the letter says, “There is a compelling logic for the court to reject implicit or explicit support for tracking, profiling, databasing and mortgaging of citizens’ rights and their sovereignty under the dictates of their donors and non-state actors.”
“The biometric idea is aimed at making citizens transparent before the all mighty Governments so that Government, their servant can remain opaque to safeguard the interests of undemocratic and ungovernable social control technology companies.”, the letter says.
“Across the globe very stringent data privacy law has been framed wherein one’s personal data cannot be used by anyone including the government without your specific consent”, the letter says, adding, “But in India there is no data protection law.”
“Aadhaar is akin to a piece of collar which the transnational powers want to tie on the neck of Indian citizens. Government has allowed itself to be misled and it has failed to protect personal sensitive information which has already gone to foreign companies.”, the letter insists.
The letter says, “Government has admitted before a Parliamentary Standing Committee believes that the UID number involves certain issues, such as (a) security and confidentiality of information, imposition of obligation of disclosure of information so collected in certain cases, (b) impersonation by certain individuals at the time of enrollment for issue of unique identification numbers, (c) unauthorised access to the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR), and (d) manipulation of biometric information.”

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Govt of India seeks to 'subvert' autonomy of adjudicating authorities: RTI amendment

Counterview Desk
India's independent Right to Information watchdog, The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement, has said that the Government of India’s proposed amendments to the RTI Act to empower the Centre to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States “seriously undermine” the law.