Activists, researchers doubts security of UID data

Activists and researchers raised doubts over security of data being collected for the Unique Identification project and its public utility.

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2011, 22:20 PM IST

Mumbai: Activists and researchers on Saturday raised doubts over security of data being collected for the Unique Identification (UID)project and its public utility.

"The personal information being collected for the UID would be stored in a central database system without assuring protection against data theft. There could be a possibility of profiling, tracking and surveillance with the help of the information," Usha Ramanathan, an independent law researcher said here today at a press conference.
There are also doubts over the efficacy of the project. The UID claims better delivery of public schemes such as PDS or NREGA but does not say how would it help the people, Ramanathan said.

The UID number will only guarantee identity, not rights, benefits, or entitlements. In fact, when UID is not compatible with records in ration shops, how the Government is going to plug leakages in the public schemes," Associate Professor from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, R Ramakumar said.
Besides, the infallibility of biometrics fingerprints and iris scan, is still being tested. The evidences have begun to emerge that callused hands, corneal scars and cataract induced by malnourishment may leave many millions outside this pattern of identification, Ramanathan claimed.

UID is the UPA government`s most ambitious project headed by Nandan Nilekani, under which one billion Indians would be given a unique identity number. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handed over the first Identity card called Aadhaar at Tembhli village in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra in September last year.

PTI