My criticism of Aadhaar isn’t new. The biometric ID system has a flawed design and verification procedures are weak, I had noticed way back in 2010. Aadhaar during the UPA-2 days involved thousands of crores of rupees (public money) being spent on a project that had no discourse or legislative sanction. This deliberate lack of debate and scrutiny has led us today to a situation where a huge database constructed clumsily has no reciprocal legal protections for those enrolled into Aadhaar and had volunteered data into it.
I have been a long-standing advocate of ensuring rights to digital consumers and have made repeated efforts to realise these rights through my several interventions in Parliament and as well as outside it. When faced with an unresponsive Manmohan Singh government, I approached the court with PILs and successfully fought to revoke the draconian Section 66A of the IT Act to protect digital freedom of expression and voting rights for armed forces. In March 2014, when I moved the SC, the aim was to highlight the involvement of a violation of the citizens’ fundamental rights while implementing the UID/Aadhaar.