Centre for Internet & Society

Privacy India is inviting individuals to author short papers focused on Unique Identity (UID) and Privacy. Selected candidates will have their papers published on the CIS website, and their transportation and accommodation provided for the “Privacy Matters” conference being held in Kolkata on 22 January 2010.


Privacy and the UID

Submission Deadline

By 15 January 2010 to [email protected]

Word Length

3,000-5,000 words

Topic Summary

The Aadhaar scheme, or Unique Identity (UID) scheme is a plan to provide citizens identity cards that are tied to their unique biometric data – such as their fingerprints or retinal scans. Although the most frequently cited justification for this project is to ensure the secure delivery of relief to beneficiaries of government aid schemes, it is clear that the uses to which it will be put exceed this narrow mandate. 

As India embarks on one of its most ambitious techno-administrative projects to date, there is surprisingly little clarity or introspection into the implications of having such a concentrated identity locked into a single card. In particular it appears that the grave threats to privacy the scheme poses have not received due attention. Although the final draft UID Bill circulated by the UIDAI in October 2010 contains some provisions that reference privacy, there seems to be a tacit assumption that privacy is an expendable or at least a less-desirable privilege that can be attended to fully once the scheme is in fully in place.

We invite individuals to author short inter-disciplinary papers that engage various topics on the theme of Privacy and the UID, including but not limited to the following:

  •    Comparative studies on privacy and national identity card schemes in other countries
  •    Privacy and the UID Bill
  •   How will a project such as the UID change the relationship between the state, the individual, and the market?

Selected candidates will have their papers published on the CIS website, and their transportation and accommodation  provided for the “Privacy Matters” conference being held in Kolkata on January 22nd 2010.

Who We Are

Privacy India was set up with the collaboration of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) and Society in Action Group (SAG), under the auspices of the international organization ‘Privacy International’. Privacy International is a non-profit group that provides assistance to civil society groups, governments, international and regional bodies, the media and the public in a number of countries (see www.privacyinternational.org). Privacy India's objective is to raise awareness, spark civil action and promoting democratic dialogue around privacy challenges and violations in India. In furtherance of this goal we aim to draft and promote an over-arching privacy legislation in India by drawing upon legal and academic resources and consultations with the public.

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