Centre for Internet & Society

Responding to the Unique Identification Authority of India’s article that found “serious mathematical errors” in “Flaws in the UIDAI Process” (EPW 12 March 2016), the main mathematical argument used to arrive at the number of duplicates in the biometric database is explained.

The article was published in the Economic & Political Weekly on September 3, 2016, Vol.51, Issue No.36.

The author of a technical paper will be alarmed when he is convicted of “serious mathematical errors” by someone who has not bothered himself with “going too deep into the mathematics” used. The man must possess miraculous powers of divination one feels: fears rather. The UIDAI seems to have even such formidable diviners in their employ: who have dismissed just so peremptorily, in their rebuttal, the calculations made in my paper titled Flaws in the UIDAI process. The paper appeared in the issue of this journal dated to February 27 of this year. The rebuttal was published in the issue dated to the 12th of March. The interested reader can confirm that I have only repeated what was said there. The rebuttal does not specify, in any way, the mathematical mistakes I am supposed to have made. So I shall rehearse the relevant calculations very broadly: and the experts of the UIDAI will then exhibit, I trust, the specific mistakes they impute to me.[*]

[*]My reply to the UIDAIs attempted rebuttal was sent in to the EPW a few days after that appeared in print: and published as a “web exclusive” article in Volume 51, Issue Number 36 of the EPW, on 03/09/2016.

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