Inquisitive UIDAI wants all details about you and I

Inquisitive UIDAI wants all details about you and I

Big Brother watching

Inquisitive UIDAI wants all details about you and I

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Karnataka, which is all set to begin its ambitious “Aadhar” enrolment in Bangalore from August 17, has kicked up a row even before its formal launch by “surreptitiously” widening the scope of the ID card beyond the officially stated position.

On the second day of the special enrolment for mediapersons and their families in the City — as a precursor to the launch for general public —there were heated arguments between applicants and officials, as the enrolment forms distributed by the officials did not match the forms put out by the UIDAI on its website and seemed to be far wider in its scope, seeking personal details.

Several applicants for enrolment objected to the columns asking for details of bank account numbers and the LPG gas connection numbers. Some people who had not brought their passbooks or gas connection receipts were turned away, leading to protests. The officials later clarified that the submission of the information they sought was “voluntary” and continued registering others who had left the columns in the application form unfilled.

In fact, there is a wide disparity between the form specified by the UIDAI  on its official website and the one being used by its Karnataka unit. The official form has three parts: Part A seeks details like name, gender, age, name of father/husband/guardian and the residential address. Part B seeks “additional information” like phone number/ mobile number and email address which are all “optional”.

Part C deals with “financial information” like bank name, branch and account number with a clause “I want to link my existing bank a/c to Adhaar and I have no objection on this issue.” It is operational only if the assignee affixes his signature. The form printed by the Karnataka UIDAI  does not make any of the information sought optional. In fact, it goes well beyond its stated objective by including a section titled ‘Data collection for state government.’

It is a long list, starting from “availing any social security pension” to “Sandhya Suraksha,” “physically handicapped person”, “destitute/widow pension”, “old age pension”, “ration card”, “NREGA job card”, “member of milk cooperative society”, and so on.

The bio-metric details of all ten fingers, the iris and the face of the applicants are mandatorily captured. The form requires the assignee to put his signature to the clause, “I have no objection to my identity being authenticated for delivery of services from time to time by agencies to whom I present the UID number and I am aware that information provided by me for securing UID number shall be used for authenticating my identity.”

Neither state e-governance executive officer D S Ravindran nor principal secretary, department of IT/BT and e-governance M N Vidyasha­n­kar was available for comm­ent, despite repeated att­­e­­mpts to contact them on the phone.