Tuesday, March 8, 2011

239 - UID comes under scrutiny - The Asian Age

New Delhi, Sept. 28: A group of eminent personalities led by the noted jurist, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, has urged the Centre to halt the unique identification number project saying that it could violate privacy and fundamental rights.

In a signed statement, the prominent citizens including historian Prof. Romila Thapar, the civil liberties activist, Mr K.G.Kannabiran, and a host of others said there was no clarity on who will handle the data of the UID and who all would have access to it.

“How does the UIDAI propose to deal with data theft?” asked the activists. “If this security cannot be reasonably guaranteed, the wisdom of holding such data in a central registry may need to be reviewed.”

The eminent personalities pointed out that the involvement of firms such as Ernst & Young and Accenture raise further questions about who will have access to the data, and what that means to the people of India.

According to them, the UIDAI was set up ‘undemocratically’ through a notification as without any discussion or debate in the Parliament or civil society.

The statement pointed out that national ID projects had been abandoned in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom for reasons of costs and privacy.

“If it is too expensive for the US with a population of 308 million, and the UK with 61 million people, and Australia with 21 million people, it why India thinks it can prioritise its spending in this direction?” wondered the activists.