#India- Your Aadhaar data is being misused by banks #mustshare #privacy #UID


Couple in Colaba were shocked when a bank sent a letter to their 10-yr-old daughter, without their knowledge or consent, saying an account had been opened in her name with details taken from UID

January 24, 2013
MUMBAI
Naveen Nair

Heading out to enroll for a unique identity? Think twice before you provide your personal details while filling out the forms: the possibility of your personal details being leaked to a third party cannot be ruled out.

Aadhaar
1: Applicants submit personal information of their family in the UID application form

Take for instance this couple based in Colaba, who were alarmed when a letter (see pic) arrived at their doorstep last week from the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). It was addressed to their 10-year-old daughter, and claimed that a Savings Bank (SB) account had been opened under her name.

Aadhaar
2: UID centre forwards the information to banks

The family is now racked with anxiety, having no clue how their personal data reached bank officials without their knowledge or consent. While the bank officials claim that the data is directly sent to them by the central government, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) officials say that no such information is forwarded to the banks without the consent of the applicant.

Aadhaar
3: Bank uses the information to open accounts and then informs the customer about it. Graphics/Amit Bandre

Surprise package
Reshma Puri and her daughter Anamika (names changed on request) had applied for Aadhaar cards around eight months ago. Both already had existing accounts with banks other than IOB. Imagine their shock last week when the mailman delivered the letter from IOB. The letter, posted from the Nariman Point branch of IOB, claimed that an SB account in Anamika’s name had been opened on October 13, 2012, based on her Aadhaar details. The letter further requested her to visit the branch within 15 days armed with her Aadhaar ID card, to complete the procedure and activate the account.

Aadhaar

A worried Reshma said, “The current accommodation we live in is provided by the government, and is thus transferable. My husband and I were both present when we applied for our daughter’s Aadhaar card, and we made sure that all the details were entered correctly. We are sure that we did not give any consent for an account to be opened for our daughter in any bank.”

She added, “We are surprised to see that our personal details have reached IOB officials, and they have forcefully opened an SB account. How can the UIDAI decide to share our data with a random bank and what if the provided data is misused? Aren’t we risking our personal security by providing our personal details during enrolment?

It is a kind of spam wherein the government and its subsidiaries are misusing our private information.” The final paragraph of the letter from IOB letter further requests the applicant to furnish the names, addresses and occupations of friends and relatives, particularly those staying abroad, so that the bank may contact them.

Spam or data theft?
Acknowledging the concerns raised by the Puris, Vijay Mukhi, a cyber expert, said, “I don’t believe that the government directly provides such data to any banks, it is lower rank officials working at private agencies to whom the UID data collection work is outsourced. It is the sole responsibility of the government to ensure that it is not leaked.”

Asked if the use of private information for marketing activities would fit the definition of spam, Mukhi said, “Spam is a smaller issue, this is a clear-cut case of data theft and should be looked into more seriously.” He suggested that the government implement measures that prevent others from copying such information from the database.

Reshma further explained that since their current residence is transferable, any such letter addressed to her daughter may arrive at the address in future in their absence, and a stranger may use the letter and operate the account facilities using forged documents.

Bank clarifies
H Mahadev, regional vigilance officer (RVO), IOB, said, “The central government started this process of opening accounts linked to a person’s Aadhaar details about five months ago. The sole purpose of opening these accounts is to channelise the subsidies provided by the government to the Aadhaar cardholder. These accounts are generated directly and accommodated into our system and then bifurcated to respective branches based on the applicant’s residential address.”

He added, “The accounts are generated based on the consent provided by applicants at the time of his Aadhaar enrolment. If the applicant does not wish to operate this account, he or she should submit a letter mentioning the same.” Asked why details of friends and relatives were requested in the same letter, Mahadev said, “This is not part of the instruction provided by the central government. The respective branch may have included these requests as a part of their promotional activity.”

An official from the Nariman Point branch confirmed issuing a letter to Puri, saying, “We have received nearly 6,000 sets of data from our regional office and have randomly circulated letters to all the residents in our ward. Usually the account is expected to be opened in the name of the family’s head in order to avail of the government subsidy. Nearly 2,000 accounts have been activated and most of them are for local fishermen, who are likely to get their first subsidy by the year end.” Asked how a minor was sent the letter, the officer blamed it on system error, saying they are computer generated.

UIDAI’s take
Gurudutt Ray, assistant director general, UIDAI, said, “The central government does not directly open any accounts in a random nationalised bank. We do direct the banks to open an account linked to the Aadhaar details, if the applicant provides his consent for the same. In this case the applicant may have selected the option for opening a bank account linked to his Aadhaar number and IOB being in their vicinity, could have been directed to open the account.” Ray denied that personal data related to applicants is being provided to banks. He claimed that applicants have no obligation to activate the account.

Lawyers explain
No bank can unilaterally set up an account for you. In the case of minors, the guardian’s consent is necessary. If there is no consent, either express or implied, there is no way that an account can be set up that is basic contract law.
Aditya Ajgaonkar, Advocate

There are know your customer (KYC) norms framed by the Reserve Bank of India which clearly say the customer has to open a bank account. Moreover, how can they open up a bank account which has no initial deposit in it?
Jabbar Shaikh, Advocate

 

#India-Half burnt body of unidentified girl found at Puri #Vaw


Press Trust of India / Bhubaneswar January 04, 2013, 21:25

Odisha Police today recovered the half-burnt body of an unidentified girl near a canal in Odisha’s Puri district but it was yet to be established if it was a case of rape.

The body dressed in a black salwar with mehendi marks on the palms was found beside the Haripur-Balanga canal, about 25 km from here.

“We have recovered the half-burnt body of a girl aged about 20 years. Her identity is yet to be ascertained,” Puri Superintendent of Police Anup Sahul told reporters here.

Residents of Samarai Sasan village found the body this morning and informed police, the SP said, adding there were no burn injuries on the victim’s hands and legs while half of her face was burnt.

Asked if it was a case of rape, the SP said “the details will be known after we get the postmortem report from the district headquarters hospital.”

Police found some liquor bottles and other materials from a half-built house near the canal.

A dog squad and scientific teams from Puri were investigating the killing.

The police suspected the girl was killed somewhere else and the body set ablaze near the canal.

The spot where the body was found was only four kilometer from Pipili where a dalit girl was attacked and raped in November 2011. She died in July 2012 after remaining in coma for about seven months.

 

Murder joins the long list of cases against Jagannath temple of Puri priests


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRATIHARI (LEFT), MOHAPATRA (RIGHT)

Debabrata Mohanty : Bhubaneswar, Tue Sep 04 2012,IE

It is one of the most renowned and biggest temples of Orissa. Since last week, however, the Jagannath Temple of Puri has acquired another distinction. On August 29, one of its sevaks and a member of the temple managing committee was held for planning and carrying out the murder of a fellow panel member over property.

If Krushna Pratihari now finds himself bars, the murdered priest, Taluccha Bhagaban Mohapatra, was as well known for activities outside the holy sphere. Police records show around a dozen cases against him as well as conviction on a murder charge. Mohapatra was also the local municipality councillor of the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

However, Mohapatra was not the only Jagannath Temple “sevak (servitor)” to figure in police records, accessed by The Indian Express. At least 60-odd sevaks are named in the records for 2011 and 2012, charge-sheeted in criminal cases ranging from theft, extortion, murder, criminal intimidation and molestation to wrongful restraint.

“We have just checked cases of Singhadwar and Puri town police stations. If we take into account the cases of the last five years of all the police stations in and around Puri, the numbers will run into several hundreds. Most of them are essentially goons who terrorise people,” said a home department official. Currently, the temple has over 5,500 sevaks.

Pratihari allegedly planned Mohapatra’s murder from the precincts of the Jagannath temple itself. Men allegedly hired by him accosted Mohapatra in a community hall and pumped bullets into his head. While Mohapatra looked after decoration of the deities at the temple, Pratihari’s divine duties included looking after preparation of abhada, the meal served to the Lord.

After his arrest from Koraput, Pratihari told the police that his rivalry with Mohapatra stemmed from a piece of prime land in Puri which both of them wanted. Mohapatra had allegedly used his political links to scare away Pratihari.

While Mohapatra’s murder conviction was stayed by the high court, a temple sevak said: “He was essentially a landgrabber who must have amassed properties worth Rs 200 crore. Recently he had set his eyes on Emar mutt, a 300-year-old mutt in front of the Puri temple… Using his proximity with high court judges, he could browbeat officials and locals into submission. That he could get into the temple managing committee despite being convicted in a murder case shows his influence.”

Police officials said they were getting an increasing number of cases involving temple officials. “During the rath yatra, it depresses us to see women devotees being manhandled or at times molested by these people. When someone goes to the temple, some of these priests accost them and demand to be paid at least Rs 500. If they are paid less, they start abusing the devotee and often manhandle them,” said an official.

“This January, a temple priest threw a bottle at a middle-aged woman when she protested against his fleecing tourists. The bottle hit her head, causing deep injuries. Though a case was lodged, the assailant is yet to be identified,” said a police officer.

Chief administrator of Jagannath temple Arvind Padhee admitted that people with criminal cases should not be a part of the temple. “It’s true that people with impeccable backgrounds should be there. But it is difficult to change things in an orthodox temple. Still, in the last two months, we have managed to bring some discipline by getting the servitors to behave well with the tourists and to get the rituals done on time. We would call an emergency meeting of the temple managing committee in a fortnight to discuss these issues,” he said.

Senior sevak Rabindra Pratihari added that not all servitors were bad. “There may be some bad apples, but servitors are part of our society. When the society is facing moral degradation, why blame servitors alone?”

Vedanta -Creating Happiness? Certainly Not in Puri


Tehelka, Jay Mazoomdaar is an Independent Journalist.

Its mega university project stuck in the court, Vedanta withdraws free education to 500 children of project-affected families

ON 30 JANUARY, Vedanta released its maiden national corporate publicity campaign — Creating Happiness, a 90-second film created by Ogilvy & Mather — across television channels. Binno, a little girl from rural Rajasthan and the face of the campaign, has already endeared herself to millions. The campaign also features 38 short films made by students of Film and Television Institute of India, Indian Institute of Mass Communication and other institutes, shortlisted by a jury including Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag.(At the time of going to press, Benegal told an activist that he was not on the jury anymore).

Understandably, thousands of victims of Vedanta’s environmental and human rights abuse see little endearing in Binno’s smile. Now among them are 500 children from Odisha’s Puri district who belong to families affected by the Vedanta University Project (VUP). On 10 February, they suddenly became dispensable liabilities in the MNC’s mega scheme of things.

The campaign with a media budget of more than Rs 100 crore, to quote O&M executive chairman Piyush Pandey, is “all about enabling India” and “looks forward to the people of India not just appreciating Vedanta efforts, but getting inspired to do something on their own to make India a happier place.” With that lofty goal, Vedanta’s communications and brand director Senjam Raj Sekhar told the media that the MNC “opened up all its projects and locations to budding independent filmmakers”.

But Vedanta kept at least one location under wraps. Only two of the 38 films in the competition feature Odisha. And neither tells the Vedanta story in Puri where the MNC began sponsoring the education of 500 children in the prestigious DAV Public School four years ago.

GADADHAR TRIPATHI from Chandanpur, Puri district, was among thousands of villagers approached by Vedanta for their land. In June 2006, Vedanta Resources Ltd had sought 15,000 acres from the Odisha government for setting up a university near Puri. A month on, the government signed an MOU with Vedanta Foundation (formerly Sterlite Foundation) for the project.

“The company took 6,000 acres of agricultural land from us. We were told that our children would get good education for free. We were also promised quality healthcare and jobs. It even promised to build good schools in our villages. We were happy,” says Tripathi.

In 2008, VUP signed a 30-year MOU with DAV to provide education for 500 children from the project-affected families up to Class X.

The project website — vedanta.edu.in — reads: In an honest attempt at forging a partnership for providing quality education to the largely deprived children of the rural areas, the VUP of Anil Agarwal Foundation has been supporting the children belonging to the project impacted village for admission into DAV Public School, Puri.

Read more here

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