What needs to change right now? Bill Gates’ understanding of Aadhaar

Bil Gates has been a supporter of Aadhaar, which isn’t a bad thing. But what’s wrong is his understanding of (implementation of) Aadhaar, the idealism around it and lack of awareness on how it is being misused by the govt bodies.

Here are a few notes from his recent interview:

Aadhaar doesn’t harm privacy, it merely gives an identity, thinks Bill Gates.
Aadhaar is just something that avoids you pretending to be somebody else that you can have fake people on government payroll. Aadhaar prevents you being on that payroll as a ghost worker.
It prevents you from collecting things that you shouldn’t collect or accessing a health record you shouldn’t have access to. So the basic Aadhaar mechanism is an identity mechanism and so it is too bad if somebody thinks that because Aadhaar is there that in itself creates a privacy problem.
The privacy issue is about the application, if you are using the Aadhaar for your taxes and your benefits who has access to that information. The idea that you have an identity – that is only in some philosophical thing – it is an arbitrary 12 digit number.
It is the policies for the application who can see the land registry, certainly things like voting privacy or medical record privacy, everybody agrees that super important (via).

What Bill Gates need to know is the way Aadhaar has been implemented (rather misused) and is being used as a Big-Brother tool.He has a very idealistic knowledge of Aadhaar which is far far far far away from the reality.
Anyways, watch this interview (leaving his commentary on Aadhaar, it is definitely a good one by cnbc).

Ezetap launches EzeSmart – Aadhaar Pay Enabled POS

Ezetap’s EzeSmart is an open-platform, smart GPRS terminal enabled with Aadhaar pay and eKYC, that delivers a superior digital payment experience.

EzeSmart enables a person with an Aadhaar linked bank account to transact conveniently, just by the touch of one’s finger on the fingerprint sensor of the device.

This enables micro-finance institutions that use this terminal to service their rural customers and collect payments digitally.  Also, with anywhere payments, EzeSmart helps businesses eliminate long queues, delivering a superior customer experience.

Another key feature of this terminal is eKYC. This means that any business which needs to authenticate a customer identity can use this terminal and does not have to invest in additional infrastructure.

Mozilla team : Aadhaar fails to provide meaningful consent to users

Mozilla execs have written an open letter to Justice Srikrishna on India’s data privacy laws and Aadhaar.

The current proposal exempts biometric info from the definition of sensitive personal information that must be especially protected. This is backwards, biometric info is some of the most personal info, and can’t be “reset’ like a password.

The design of Aadhaar fails to provide meaningful consent to users. This is seen, for example, by the ever increasing number of public and private services that are linked to Aadhaar without users being given a meaningful choice in the matter. This can and should be remedied by stronger consent, data minimization, collection limitation, and purpose limitation obligations.

[Mitchell Baker, Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla]

To combat privacy concerns, UID will introduce Virtual ID & Limited KYC

UID will now mask your Aadhar number with a virtual id, which you’d need in order to validate your Aadhaar number.
Question: How does UID ensure that this ID is safe and isn’t up for abuse?
UID will also introduce limited KYC to provide agency specific UID to eliminate agencies storing Aadhaar numbers.
Question: So UID will approve agencies? How will they hold them accountable?
Will these initiatives help? The good news is that UID atleast acknowledges the privacy concerns and how the system has been exploited by scammers.

India sitting on Aadhaar cyber crime bomb: Indian National Bar Association

The Indian government’s decision to link vital Aadhaar number to bank accounts, income tax and mobile phones could trigger a wave of internet financial crimes in the country.

Aadhar : The other side!
Aadhar : The other side!
“ Cyber crime is rapidly rising worldwide including India as criminals use the Internet to commit a multitude of criminal activities using the Internet and law enforcement agencies are struggling to cope with the huge growth of the problem, with linking of Aadhar card with banking and phone numbers on the internet increases the risk of financial frauds “ said Arvind Gopal, Attorney, Digital Crimes Unit, at Microsoft.

“If Aadhaar card is linked everywhere then people’s personal information will be leaked thereby paving way for cyber crimes. Our country India lacks proper mechanism to fight such crimes. The entire process of Aadhaar-enabled services are prone to cyber-attacks. Linking Aadhaar with all kinds of services is making things worse as social engineering is often used to find out bank account details, credit card numbers and passwords to steal money from people’s accounts.” He said.