Red flags raised over possible unique ID profiling fallouts

Activists say UID has a potential to become intrusive and could violate privacy of individuals


Samir Sachdeva | September 10, 2010

Nandan Nilekani-lead unique identity number project may hit a possible roadblock as National Advisory Council (NAC) member Aruna Roy, former chief justice of Delhi high court, A.P.Shah and others have raised privacy concerns on the project. In a statement the activists have demanded that the project be halted and a feasibility study and a cost-benefit analysis to be carried out. They have also called for a public debate on the project and a law on privacy. However, they have stated that pilot studies which are currently underway may be continued.

They have also claimed that the project documents do not explain its potential to be intrusive and violative of privacy, questions like who may handle the data and who may access it. Serious questions have also been raised on possible misuse of the UID data by state for surveillance, profiling and tracking of individuals.

The statement highlights that the national Ids projects in countries like US, Australia and UK have been abandoned because of privacy and costs concerns. The group also claims that the pilot studies of the project have already thrown multiple challenges among the poor whose fingerprints are not stable, and whose iris scans suffer from malnourishment related cataract.

Governance Now has earlier reported that non government organization lead by Bangalore based Centre for Internet and Society have raised similar concerns over the implementation of the project.




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