Workers will now be tagged with a biometric database. Don’t say we did not warn you
Moneylife Digital Team 02 February 2011

The government is planning a biometric database to authenticate work applications, work-site attendance and wage payments. After the Aadhaar implementation, Big Brother will not just be watching you; every move you make will be recorded and registered

We at Moneylife have been repeatedly pointing out that the Aadhaar (or UID) project that the government is rolling out across the country will be nothing but an intrusion into the privacy of citizens—be it the middle-class, the well-off or the masses.

Today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the nation that the government proposes to create a biometric database of all workers covered under its flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) scheme and "use it to authenticate work applications, work-site attendance and wage payments."

He was making the announcement at a function held in New Delhi to mark five years of the launch of MNREGA. Mr Singh said, "We hope it will substantially reduce instances of discrimination in work allocation, delayed payments and bogus muster rolls."

We do wish this scheme to be a success. But if the monitoring of the database is tardy, or worse, if it is used to exploit our illiterate workforce, the consequences will be disastrous. To say the least.

Coming back to Aadhaar, the number of articles that we have carried on the UID project are too numerous to be detailed here. But we have been roundly condemned by a number of our citizens, who feel that the Aadhaar project is a great initiative from the Centre.

For example, consider the latest article that we had carried on the UID project: (How Aadhaar, or the UID project, can get you into deep trouble).

As the article pointed out, "Aadhaar, with its biometrics and the ability to facilitate convergence of information—bona fide or otherwise—has the potential to compromise privacy and put people in trouble."

Here's what a 'concerned' citizen (his handle is 'Chowdhury') had to say on the above article (this is just a part of the comment, reproduced verbatim, and not corrected for grammar): "Please let India towards a progressive and futuristic society, a step ahead of USA, China etc. Otherwise we are to stay back-same old India, nothing pioneering... Let India show others an example of e-Governance."

Well, India is showing us today an example of what sorry pass e-governance can bring us to, if not properly utilised. If you read between the lines, it is obvious that this so-called database announced today by the government will just be a way to keep tabs on workers.

And must we add, Aadhaar is a step in the wrong direction? Do you really want every move of yours to be recorded, registered and probably misused? Don't say we did not warn you.

We at Moneylife look forward to your comments.  

1 decade ago
It is time to have such data with administrators to control workers. But, what about administrators? who gonna control them?

Where Money is God, Capitalism is the sect for everyone. Don't you think, it could generate the smartest and most hideous central power in future.

Progress should not be hindrance in PROGRESS.
1 decade ago
The vast computer databases kept by government departments can be passed on to covert agencies and corporate entities. Many know that DNA databases, retina scans, handprint scans and such are becoming more commonplace. However, few know of the more advanced technologies used to monitor them RIGHT NOW!

The World's Concerns Microchip Implants, Mind Control, and Cybernetics
-By Rauni-Leena Luukanen-Kilde, MD Former Chief Medical Officer of Finland December 6, 2000

Are we ready for the robotization of mankind and the total elimination of privacy, including freedom of thought? How many of us would want to cede our entire life, including our most secret thoughts, to Big Brother? Yet the technology exists to create a totalitarian New World Order. Covert neurological communication systems are in place to counteract independent thinking and to control social and political activity on behalf of self-serving private and military interests.

When our brain functions are already connected to supercomputers by means of radio implants and microchips, it will be too late for protest. This threat can be defeated only by educating the public, using available literature on biotelemetry and information exchanged at international congresses……………

…………Time is running out for changing the direction of military medicine, and ensuring the future of human freedom…………..

This article was originally published in the 36th-year edition of the Finnish-language journal SPEKULA (3rd Quarter, 1999). SPEKULA (circulation 6500) is a publication of Northern Finland medical students and doctors of Oulu University OLK (Oulun Laaketieteellinen Kilta). It is mailed to all medical students of Finland and all Northern Finland medical doctors.

RFID (Radio Frequency ID) chips are Comming
Here are a pair of patents which you can google yourself:Patent#20020165758: IBM – IDENTIFICATION AND TRACKING OF PERSONS
I am sure you will be fully convinved that these are threat to National security and sovereignity. I request you to go through this article to understand the full scope of this UID Concept which is being imposed on us. Its official Invasion of Our Fundamental Right Right to Privacy by Multinational Giant Corporations.
Big Brother: Spying on Americans, The Threat of Satellite Surveillance
by John Flemming
Covert Operations of the U.S. National Security Agency
A lawsuit filed against the U.S. National Security Agency reveals a frightening array of technologies and programs designed to keep tabs on individuals.
From an article in Nexus Magazine April/May 96
John St Clair Akwei
National Security Agency
Ft George G. Meade, MD, USA
(Civil Action 92-0449)
The following document comprises evidence for a lawsuit filed at the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, DC, by John St Clair Akwei against the National Security Agency, Ft George G. Meade, Maryland (Civil Action 92-0449), constitutes his knowledge of the NSA’s structure, national security activities proprietary technologies and covert operations to monitor individual citizens Ed.


Outside the Box #98 (Featuring Dr. Robert Duncan)
Alex talks with Dr. Robert Duncan, an expert on mind control technology and artificial intelligence. Later, Alex discusses the recent shooting at Virginia Tech.
1 decade ago
UK Immigration Officer Puts Wife on the No-Fly List (
A UK immigration officer decided to get rid of his wife by putting her on the no-fly list, ensuring that she could not return to the UK from abroad. This worked for three years, until he put in for a promotion and -- during the routine background check -- someone investigated why his wife was on the no-fly list.
Okay, so he's an idiot. And a bastard. But the real piece of news here is how easy it is for a UK immigration officer to put someone on the no-fly list with absolutely no evidence that that person belongs there. And how little auditing is done on that list. Once someone is on, they're on for good.
That's simply no way to run a free country.
Will it be same for India as well after the UID?
Replied to Brits comment 1 decade ago
Indeed, this example shows what dangers projects such as UID can cause --- when absolutely no feasibility study is done. The question is : when this UID project is stopped, who will pay the price ? What happens to the thousands of crores of tax payers' money that has gone down the drain? Btw, it has already been proved that fingeprints can be faked and the videos of showing that are all over the net. The UIDAI of course is silent on it.
1 decade ago
I agree with ML to some extent and it will have some negative aspects. But over a decade or 2, it can be used to track black money, criminals, politicians also. Just like knife aadhar has pros and cons. I feel it is desirable.
Replied to R comment 1 decade ago
"But over a decade or 2, it can be used to track black money, criminals, politicians also."

Aadhaar is not compulsory for this very reason dont you see. It was made optional to allow criminals and corrupt people to continue their merry ways.

A decade or two you say and I say not in a 100 years. All over the world only convicted criminals get finger printed. In India every one except the criminals will get finger printed as if we were all sheep meant to be slaughtered
Replied to R comment 1 decade ago
@R, I agree everything has its pros & you need to look what weighs more...but ML seems to be looking only at negatives of it...hope they come out with some positves of UID as well...lets see.
Shankar Kottur
1 decade ago
I have been reading about Aadhaar from the time of its inception. It is an identity solution to all residing in India. What you suggest can only be true if all the agencies come under one roof and start tracking everyone. It can happen with some national security situations, other than that for rest of the people who wants to use Aadhaar, it only provides identity by answering that the said person is himself. So the kind of misuse you are suggesting is not bound to happen. Please stop spreading wrong information. For anything it is needed to measure the pros and cons and do things. Aadhar addresses many constructive things for our society.
Replied to Shankar Kottur comment 1 decade ago
Stop living in fool's paradise. Ask Nandan Nilekani, Dr MMS, Sonia Gandhi why they still havenot got an UID number for themselves yet? It at all its so good, why UIDAI is not issuing UIDN to all politicians... at least it will plug the black 'hole' money.
Replied to Sarma comment 1 decade ago
Sarma, what makes you say that the Nandan & MMS won't be having UIDs...i don't remember anything of this type anywhere...and i don't think they are disclosing names of all the people who are issued with UIDs. Don't you think Nandan & MMS have PAN numbers...if they can have that they will have this as well...atleast let the process be completed...why being obstacle in something good thats being created?
Replied to Sujit comment 1 decade ago
My reply is again the same dear. Stop living in fool's paradise. Just because Cognizant can have some contract from UIDAI does not make to you to advocate UIDN. And my point is, we are not asking the elites to disclose their UIDN but want them to be seen by all registering for it. Lets have all channels there for to spread the so called good..good UIDN through the PM, Sonia and Nandan himself. you know what the people who have been issued UIDN in Tembhali have been upto? Have they receiving any benefit from it? Open your eyes.. dont sacrifice your own interest for your organisations commercial interest.
Replied to Sarma comment 1 decade ago
Oh man, it takes time to get number to most Indians and for the benefits to flow. We are huge number of people..
Replied to Sarma comment 1 decade ago
I will say don't be so paranoid...let it atleast be introduced...and be it cognizant, Infy, TCS or any other software company they are getting a chance to work on it 'coz of the capabilities that they posses...and are you not misusing the information that you have access to, i read somwhere a commment abt people being from Canada do u have that information when it is not being captured in the comments form...dude you urself are misusing the information collected by your can you point fingers at others...and is the kind of Privacy Moneylife this the organizations integrity? its pathetic moneylife.
Replied to Sujit comment 1 decade ago
Thanks for admitting your organisations commercial interests in UID project. This exactly was the purpose to show all readers that the UID project is all about money, honey!
Replied to Sarma comment 1 decade ago
huh??? what has my firm got to do with this? btw you still did'nt answer abt your firms integrity. and yes, money is involved in everything...fact that you are writing this sort of cheap article proves that its either for money or its you basically do not believe in anything good for India....log khud toh kuch karte nahi hai aur dusron ko sunate hai...bandu pehle apne andar dekho...India ke bare mein soche itni soch nahi hai just think of churing out your chepo articles for your day to day living.
1 decade ago
I have kind of started loosing faith in Moneylife....they are sounding too negative to me nowadays.
Replied to Sujit comment 1 decade ago
amazing... you come to moneylife to read about uid to lose faith in the magazine. Do you invest? Do you save? if not ....

Watch TIMES NOW!! will give you a boost of positivity!
Replied to mohan comment 1 decade ago
Mohan, read my comment properly so that you will be in a better position to give a relevant reply to it...all the best for your second read and hoping for a maturity from yoru side buddy.
1 decade ago
why don't people understand that uid is just an authentication mechanism, it just says x is x and not y. It will avoid leackage in govt. benefits and ensure that it reaches to the right person. Its also useful to avoid infiltration to the country. Also another point, although uid will be used by many organizations, however each organization have their data privacy rules and they don't share it with anybody. You try asking somebody's information to a bank and you will know. Again, uid is just for authentication and not for storing personal data.
Replied to Sailsq comment 1 decade ago
Aadhaar stopping leakages in the supply chain in PDS is a Myth. Remember only about 20% of PDS grains reach the poor. Aadhaar might eliminate say 5%( double dippers with multiple ration cards) of the 20% which is the last mile that would amount to 0.01%.. Is this wort an expenditure of Nine Billion dollars of Tax payers money? I am afraid Not

NREGS is plagued by Ghost employees, family and friends of Govt servants who get paid sitting at home and not doing a days work. Now Aadhaar will be issued to all these ghost employees and authenticated by their Aadhaar biometrics and money deposited straight into their bank accounts, enabling ghost employees to earn NREGS money in perpetuity..

You don't expect a billionaire CEO of an IT company to understand such ground realities.
Replied to Sailsq comment 1 decade ago
They say ignorance is a bliss. However for someone from Switzerland and working for UBS, it sounds like commercial interests. So, Salisq...stop being uninformed. If there is problem in leakage you need to plug the hole not create something unrelated to the leakage.
You are talking about infilteration? Wow...gr8, for your kind information.. the UID number would be provided to all 'RESIDENTS' of India and not CITIZENS. This means, anyone who is staying here for a while would be able to procure on UID number and can us it cement his citizenship. In addition, all over the world, data privacy rules are going for a toss. read
Replied to Nandan comment 1 decade ago
A Nandan you wrote "If there is problem in leakage you need to plug the hole"

Now that is a simple solution to a Complex problem. Aadhaar is a Complex solution for a simple problem of corruption in the supply chain requiring an expenditure of US $ ( Billion. All that needs to be done is arrest a few crooked Babus in the supply chain and put them behind bars and the rest will get straightened out automatically.

No Sir UIDAIs solution to fix leaks ( say in a roof) is to hire American consultants paying mega bucks whose solution would be to suspend an umbrella over the leak from a helicopter...( I am sorry I could not resist this idea of holding an umbrella over a leaky roof :-).
1 decade ago
you say that aadhar shall be an intrusion
do you suggest a better alternative?
you can look into the advantages also
it is better to have a database then none at all
Replied to alpa comment 1 decade ago
Better alternative --- go after the big crooks, not the small fries. Tag all ministers and their henchmen to begin with. Make governance transparent. Heck, make UIDAI transparent in the first place.
mohan ram
Replied to Samir comment 1 decade ago
good point. Lets see everybody from Nandan Nilekani downwards connected with UIDAI get finger printed, tagged and flash their barcodes -- in a group photo. (at the ministry). Let the PM, Sonia Gandhi and others be next... get a UIDAI and show it to us first.
Once we know that you have faith in the UIDAI database keeping details and records of all MPs safe, I am willing to take a chance that my privacy will be protected too!
Replied to mohan ram comment 1 decade ago
Aadhaar should be issued to all Public servants especially IAS officers. Will UIDAI do this with IAS Officer Sharma as second in charge to NN?
I think not
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