Centre for Internet & Society

Citizens’ forums and groups have stepped up their attack on the Unique Identification Project calling for the complete scrapping of the project.

Addressing the media persons on Wednesday, Thomas Matthew of Citizens’ Action Forum said all the transactions undertaken by the UID project should be scrutinised under an accountable public body policy.

“The State government should make the financial and technological implications and costs incurred so far, including details of contracts awarded with respect to the UID project,” he said.

One of the main concerns of the groups has been the lack of public discussion on the feasibility or desirability of the project.

“It was launched as an ID card for citizens, but was later changed to a number for all citizens. UID claims that there are several benefits of possessing a number, but passes on the responsibility to Registrars,” Matthew said.

While UIDAI Chairperson Nandan Nilekani announced that the number was voluntary, the need to have such a number for obtaining any other form of service including bank accounts, would force a person to get an ID number, he added.

Executive Director of The Centre for Internet and Society, Sunil Abraham said even though the scheme is supposed to only provide verification of identity, there was no guarantee of safeguard against its misuse by potential third party users like telecom companies, banks and government departments.

“Though claims have been made of huge savings as the UID will stem leakages from welfare schemes, such as employment guarantee scheme, PDS and the LPG subsidy, but no feasibility studies have been conducted to assess the veracity of such a claim,” Sunil said.

Read the original article in the Deccan Herald

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