#India – The Aadhaar Card – How Safe Is YOUR Data? #UID #privacy


social-media-privacy
Thursday, Apr 11, 2013,
Berges Malu  , DNA , April 11, 2013

Applying for an Aadhar Card is a privacy nightmare.

 

 

 

 

 

The need for me to have an Aadhar card continues to have me flummoxed. But after a lot of cajoling from my parents and friends, I decided to go ahead and apply for a card at an enrollment camp that was set up at the University I study at. What I experienced has left me a wee bit stunned on how and what exactly our government that is well known more for its goof ups than its successes has rolled up their sleeve for Aadhar cardholders and how they plan to keep this entire mammoth machinery running.

 

Thankfully unlike the royal run around I was made to go through for my passport, the process to get my Aadhar card was an absolute breeze.  My companion and I deposited our forms in the morning, got a token number and in the evening we headed over to the enrollment center, stood in a rather short queue and were out with a smile about 15 minutes later. But while the process was a breeze and I had no complaints about the promptness of the entire process, how my data was handle left me questioning the entire identification process.

 

To start with, the agent there, never once took a look at the copies of documents I was submitting as proof of identity. He only checked it, to confirm my father’s name. He never bothered to check if the documents were indeed true copies or just well made out photo-shopped documents, and he never asked to see the originals. He didn’t bother to ask me if I wanted to link my Aadhar card to an existing bank account and thankfully on his own never ticked the part about my information being shared to other authorities.

 

He then went on to dump these loosely stapled bunch of documents into a carton that I have no clue was headed where. Here was a pile of very valuable personal data, that included everything from my date of birth, address, educational qualifications and I had no clue what was to happen of it. One needn’t worry about what the government would do with the data fed into the system, its what could happen to the hard information that was in this carton, almost every bit of our lives was ready for an identity thief to come by and pick up.

 

A recent article in MiDDAY (http://goo.gl/ZL5WG) reported that copies of the compulsory documents that were submitted by residents in a Mumbai colony as proof of identity etc as well as hard copies of the forms, were left behind by the agency that filed the data and no one had picked it up. This after the residents had already received their Aadhar cards.

 

What I also noticed was, of the two agents stationed at the enrollment center, the woman (who managed the enrollment of women) didn’t speak a word of either English or Hindi, she only spoke Telugu, while the enrollment of data is done in English. Now while there is nothing wrong in speaking only the language of your state (and God knows how big a proponent I am of every citizen living in Maharashtra learning Marathi), entering in data of individuals in a language other than your is surely not your best forte, and as was bound to happen, almost every woman who went over was locked in a battle with her trying to get her to correct the umpteen goof ups she made.  Makes me wonder why I shouldn’t be surprised that many Aadhar cards are turning up with images of Trees, dogs and other pets as was reported recently? (http://goo.gl/tCUgG)

 

Which left me wondering, if my data at primary source is being dealt with in such a lackadaisical manner, what would happen once it reaches the government and how careful will they be with all of this?

 

 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Identity crisis on cards as crunch hits #Aadhaar #UID | kracktivist
  2. Trackback: #India – The lives of documents: on the sorrows of #AADHAAR #UID | kracktivist

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