Right factor the “world class security standards” as promised

Right
to privacy is one of the most debatable topic which has flooded the newspaper
previous year and still is one of the major development by Indian Judiciary.
To
understand the crux and importance of privacy one first himself needs to be
acquainted with meaning of Privacy. In simple words Privacy
generally connotes the right to personal autonomy. During
judgement of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud,
while delivering the main judgment in Justice
K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) v. Union of India  he concluded “Privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal
intimacies, the sanctity of family life, marriage, procreation, the home and
sexual orientation.  Privacy also connotes a right to be left alone,
safeguards individual autonomy and recognises the ability of the individual to
control vital aspects of his or her life. Personal choices governing a way of life are intrinsic to
privacy. Privacy
protects heterogeneity and recognises the plurality and diversity of our
culture.1”

The nine judge bench on 24th august 2017 made a
historic decision when it declared privacy as a fundamental right enshrined
under part III of Indian constitution. The emergence of this right can not only be traced from
Artcile 212 of Indian constitution
right to life and personal liberty but also from different facets of Freedom
and dignity which are both equally guaranteed and protected in Part III of
Indian constitution. The previous six judge bench decision in Kharak
Singh v State of Uttar Pradesh was overruled in which the apex court had held that Indian
constitution does not particularly safeguards Right to privacy.

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Aadhar
the 12 digit number which came up as identity proof of every Indians but
unfortunately today it is merely restricted to prevent and dissuade people from
being eligible to entitlement of services. It has became a ground of
exclusion of services. The current government regime
is focusing on linking every services with Aadhar including bank account and
services, telephone and mobile, subsidy etc.
Hence at present times where lot of people are still ignorant about government
services and are not possessing aadhar card, it is need of hour to look for
benefits and interest of deprived sections which are being excluded on ground
of non-availability of Aadhar card.

Looking
into another factor the “world class security
standards” as promised by UIDAI (Unique
Identification Development Authority of India),
the claims are just as wide as Gargantua’s mouth just tempting but
no reality. There have been various incidences where
we have seen data loss and where the essential data has been leaked bringing
out the loopholes in the system. Hence privacy which is
now our fundamental right and protected by judiciary cannot be allowed to be
played upon with rather strict measures should be adopted to safeguard it as it
is not a playing tool. The biometrics and other
information which is saved in UIDAI’s database should be
secured breach shouldbe prevented at all cost.

There
have been various incident which brought out the loopholes-

I)               
The recent incident of lucknow where a
gang was busted by Police officials who used to steal images of aadhar enrollment
operators then used it to print on resin paper to replicate them on stamps and
later use to log in database and play with citizens data. The
biometrics and our other personal information thus is in danger in presence of
such malicious element in our society. Aadhar which owing
to its biometric features is being pushed by government for welfare, taxation,
communication.

Fingerprint scanners,
iris scanners, rubber stamps, Aadhaar cards, GPS devices and printing material
have been recovered from the men, police said, indicating a well-established
network that appeared to have bypassed extensive security mechanisms set by the
Unique Identification Authority of India.3

At present the government
is promoting use of Aadhar card while the occurrence of such incidences cast a
shadow on the efforts and speak out of its sorry state.

 

 

II)             
Around 200 students at the Institute of
Chemical Technology (ICT) in
Matunga also hacked the biometric attendance system and used to mark their
absent into present by using resin adhesives and embossing their fingerprints
on it. Although this is no direct relation to
Aadhar, but one should ponder if college students can easily now days break
through the biometrics security system then what professional gangs and hackers
can do with our personal information. The data which we have
handed to UIDAI is in looming threat. Security experts of our
country on numerous occasions have highlighted the inherent danger and
vulnerability
of systems like Aadhaar which is based on biometric security.

 “Biometrics are public
information as they can be captured and replicated using a high resolution
camera. Using biometrics alone as a passcode is
conceptually flawed.” said Subhashish Banerjee,
Professor of Computer Science Engineering at IIT Delhi.4

III)          
We are now advancing towards digital
economy and one of the recent development is AEPS that is Aadhar Enabled
Payment System which is based on biometrics as source of authentication.
With
increase in data theft (biometric loss),
there is also a chance of increasing risk to this new payment method option
since our biometrics might be used by some unauthorized person for some illegal
purpose, hence increasing risk to our financial transactions.

IV)          
In response to an RTI (Right
To Information) query, Unique Identification Authority of
India stated that more than “two hundred central and
state government websites have publicly displayed the names, address, aadhar
numbers and personal details of people5”
who have enrolled for Aadhar. Although later they even
said to have taken seriously the breach and have cleared the details which were
released but still data breach incidences raise a question on the world class
security standards promised by Aadhar authority.

Apart
from it there are many other occurrences too which drew the attention of nation
highlighting the errors and loopholes and how our privacy right is infringed by
the data loss from UIDAI’s server. According to a study
published by Centre for Internet and Society, CIS found that data of over 130
million Aadhaar card holders has been leaked from just four government websites.
Not
only the Aadhaar numbers, names and other personal details of millions of
people have been leaked but also their bank account numbers.The CIS
report noted that the leak is from four portals that deal with National
Social Assistance Programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme,
Chandranna Bima Scheme and Daily Online Payment Reports of NREGA.

“Based
on the numbers available on the websites looked at, estimated number of Aadhaar
numbers leaked through these 4 portals could be around 130-135
million and the number of bank accounts numbers leaked at around 100 million
from the specific portals.6”

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1
Anurag Bhaskar, ‘Key Highlights Of Justice Chandrachud’s Judgment In The
Right To Privacy Case’ (The Wire, 2018)
accessed 16 January 2018.

2
“No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty
except according to a procedure established by law.”

3 All India and Alok Pandey, ‘UP Gang
Found Complex Way To Make Fake Aadhaar Cards, Say Police’ (NDTV.com, 2018) accessed 20 January 2018.

4 sa ind and Aman Sethi, ‘Fresh
Concerns After Cops Bust Gang Cloning Fingerprints Of Aadhaar Operators’ (http://www.hindustantimes.com/, 2018) accessed 20 January 2018.

5 ‘210 Govt Websites Had Made
Aadhaar Details Public: UIDAI

Ettech’ (ETtech.com, 2018) accessed 20 January 2018.

 

6 ‘Aadhaar
Data Of 130 Millions, Bank Account Details Leaked From Govt Websites: Report’
(India
Today, 2018)

accessed 20 January 2018.

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