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tv   Inside Story 2017 Ep 316  Al Jazeera  November 14, 2017 10:32am-11:01am AST

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quake struck near the iraqi border an estimated four hundred fifty people were killed and seven thousand injured in the magnitude seven point three quake myanmar's military has cleared itself of committing atrocities against the random muslim minority in rakhine state rangoon refugees accuse me and security forces of massacres rape and burning of villages but the military says it carried out its own investigation and has found no wrongdoing canada's prime minister has highlighted the suffering of the rehang go to meeting with myanmar's leader and san suu kyi at the assy and summit just into us as he also talked about human rights with the philippine president roderick go to to add to that was something u.s. president donald trump failed to do and it led to angry scenes in manila proteus has called for trump to go home after a failed to condemn detaches brutal war on drugs the crowds burned a giant u.s. flag for the first time in sixty years italy's football team of failed to qualify
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for the world cup the four time cup winners drew nil nil was sweden in a play off it was a game they had to win legendary goalkeeper john before announced his retirement ending a twenty year international career that included winning the two thousand and six world cup those are the headlines inside story is up next. i will just you know us swear every. is this a massive breach of privacy in india government leaders want to expand the world's largest biometric database and link more than a billion id cards with global phones and bank accounts opponents are urging supreme court judges to say no this is inside story.
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we're . with. hello there and welcome to the program i'm laura carlisle the walls at largest biometric identity card system is in india and if the government gets its way the ad hoc id card system will soon be linked to mobile phones and bank accounts of more than a billion indians government leaders say ad hoc reduces identity theft corruption and bureaucracy opponents say it's a taste of big brother which violates everyone's privacy some have taken the government to the supreme court which is expected to deliver a verdict by the end of the month judges are being asked why should indians give the government information in a neat little package what if the system is hacked by a malicious group the government web site continues to describe as
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a voluntary program but some say that the government is coercing them to use it and here's why the first ad hoc account was created in two thousand and ten has been slowly expanded across the nation ever since it's the most at its most basic level at heart is about verifying identity confirming age and gender plus biometric details such as fingerprints and iris scans but there have been reports of out how being tied to welfare benefits no account means no rations and now the government has said everyone needs to link their ad hoc counts to their mobile phone numbers by the sixth of february next year and by the thirty first of march next year also need to connect their bank accounts to the system or they will be frozen. oh let's get the thoughts of our guests now and joining us from new delhi sanjay kapoor he's the editor of hard news magazine and bangalore a lot prasanna kumar senior resident fellow at the video center for legal policy and in london robert james founder and c.e.o. of u.t.
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which is a digital identity service welcome gentlemen all of you thanks for being here on inside story and up first of all let's just get a little bit more of an idea about what adhoc actually is i haven't heard of it until i started reading about it today i'm sure many of our viewers haven't heard of it because many people don't have this national identity card all of their data being stored by the government what data does the government have access to so before i begin a couple of short disclaimers i used to be legal counsel for the new i.b.a. i which is the authority in charge of but a few years ago i embarked of an organization which has also helped the union government to draft the law which governs the other part but today i'm speaking in a purely private ok. in we're going to have my support to get to what is our part of it is not just the technology it is not just the technology of the cord which collects the biometric data of the individual along with that person the leaders
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of by making it is your include your fingerprints and your iris scans it is also a system to store this information how this information will be used in what context and to what extent so the art is supposed to be on not your unique id for every person who wants it which will contain of the details which can be verified but can you see verify of the reason is that the issue but what are essentially that there is also a card which is given to individuals which they can flash to say this is. the possible need for this is that they're not aware of ideas of india it is not as if there were not enough the issue was that several were local level and may not necessarily be used at all that of you needed and he thought people who needed one but at the same time over the years are the hardest expander who have the body which has been set up the regulator and government are which is that you are right
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that is in charge of the biometric id itself but you have many government many a court of appeals and many agencies now demanding that you produce proof of your i'm only two of this is somewhat problematic actually it's not a chance any exam pick up on an earlier point that you made you were saying that it's available to every person who wants set but the course the crux of the matter today for our discussion here is that now it's going to be banditry and a lot of people are very unhappy with that so just a company point of course it is not mandatory that is it is not as if every citizen every day president of india is required to have not yet has or is there not yet what has happened is that a whole range of services and government related schemes require you to have an art to the extent that now it is almost necessary to have a new life even though there is no exact eagle requirement to have one of because
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you will need it for such a wide range of services defacto it becomes almost essential to have what i say it is and say do you have an adult do you agree with everyone having this. no i think there are problems with i haven't talked to cannot at the time and it was not mandatory. when it was announced and i just took it for a lark i mean i never target really use it but now everything is sorted. out. for instance mobile phone for example your bank account everything. and it has become difficult for people who do not have it to access these services and that is where i think the problem lies that if you do not have another heart you are being denied you are excluded from the exclude exclusion part of is causing problems at different levels for example. the. midday meal which has been provided
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by the government if india. has been made mandatory if you have been reading the newspapers you will find that there was a child who was denied food because she did not have another she died and that was really a great tragedy which unfolded in front of probably cause technology even to see impacting ordinary lives and the. very a colossal disaster was unfolding in front of us. calling somebody to die clearly not working. this way and i think exclusion is a real problem with the we are not has been of late and implemented more than concerns of privacy of course everybody is talking about how much data is being collected that a lot are but that it be used for surveillance and so on i do think it is but the issue of exclusion is the bigger one does somebody the only need in our hard to obtain something as basic as it gave me the government says this is needed to stop
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me but you know it bill it doesn't seem to me that it's only it's all me by mandating that you will store stuff you get at the end of the day are hard as a tool they need to be accorded taken within government what do we really want people to use our thought what do we want to make it mandatory for and basically just keep it option that people want. so i completely agree that yes there is a problem of exclusion because look court is being put into what we should mandate the other for and what we should robin give us an idea of what you would see as involvement with an indian government in this sense is so you know t. is a free digital identity system it's voluntary and it's high purposes so you choose to usual passport or potentially consent privy aha system to create your own digital identity and then you can share that information with organizations or
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individuals so the important points are it's voluntary and secondly but it's private so we don't actually know who is using our system once they have on boarded instead it's just be organization and the individual who receive or a seat each so that they legally know that the transaction has happened but we don't need to know what has happened so we think that's a very popular. way of doing it ok and how potentially it is this change indian's use of the adult system. well i think there may well be you know sensible reasons why people have to use the aha system because it is very difficult online for people to prove who they are and it's very expensive for the indian government or of a businesses in india to kind of check who somebody is if they just let you fill in a web form that's that's not a good way of knowing whether somebody is actually the correct person feeling
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before me so i think they'll be times where you know for that reason you have to use potentially the government system but in many other cases individuals will be at a choose if you've got a buyer and a seller on a classified site it really should be easy for me to basically say to the seller i'd like to know your verified name and if you're not prepared to give me bad information that would worry me and i probably won't buy the goods off you so sharing a name without having to share all of the other information which would be on a passport or on the art house system is a nice tight data minimizing way but you still get the same benefits in business becomes easier for sanjay do you see this u.t. . believe it is being able to replace some of the ways in which users have to use and therefore be able to protect some of their data and retain control over it you know the major problem with the other car is that then began to see different
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databases for instance. getting an insurance it has become mandatory that you should have another go for mobile services again are home grown bank services again other multiple services will be used by magic numbers have become very very important i mean they become mandatory so there is a possibility that you may be an officer designated to look into you know create certain kind of profile use of hard as a bridge between different databases because they work inside those and one source . in a certain way it's connected by designated off so it becomes very easy to have a profile of what exactly that person is doing something which was you know was question at the time when this entire system was conceived here that we really have a government which would be more keen on surveillance and they would be bizarre they would resort to use of this data in such a manner that would make
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a citizen rather wonderful so in a certain way you cannot really shake up your past if you had you know made some kind of transformation which goes against the law of the land you think that you could probably get a loan from the bank or you can just forget about it you could you know think that something will be a parcel which is so that is a major fear because it has created a servant's ecosystem where it becomes you know very easy for the state to keep track of practically of use like really as you stated earlier the big big brother would know exactly what you're doing you know one of the really interesting things that i read was that you would have to. take her number if you wanted to spend or make a purchase that cost more than seven hundred eighty dollars and that seems to be an incredible infringement on privacy. absolutely this is exactly what is likely to happen in every which way and we have been seeing
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a great amount of intrusion which did not exist i mean if you. people have been getting income tax notices people have been getting many many of those you know intrusion from inspectors because for quite a while when we were trying to the government and the government was trying to initiate reform one of the things that they were trying to fight is the intrusion of inspectors and in a certain way are staging a comeback and other car could become one of those. factors which would in a certain way make it more targeted and. that is the reason why the matter is coming up in the supreme court there was a heavy sea judgment which made a fundamental right and that supreme court rather cleverly and creatively tried to sidestep the hard issue from the judgment but now they have to bite the bullet and the third or fourth week of november that matter is going to come up and then then they will have to take a decision about if they have been procrastinating for some reason or the other but
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then when they have to talk about it a lot of things are going to fall in place along what you say the supreme court ruling. to me it's difficult to say i mean i don't want to. predict something but without too much facts on the court but let me just put in a little bit of context the nine judge bench decision affirmed that there was a right to privacy. it unanimously affirm that i could prove a c. includes the right to informational service that you will have control over the information or yourself however the judgement to terrify the of course like with every other very likely purpose you don't have to you there are certain grounds of the basis of which that i perceive may be infringed or to say that i did previously does not extend to you saying i will pay my respects him of any compelling state interest whether this compelling state interest exist in the context of income tax maybe we don't know but it exist in the context of banks maybe we don't know but it
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exists in the context of a mobile phone the most maybe we don't know the fact is that we have to listen to the arguments get up early and see how the status trying to justify things this is really what the court would be looking at each individual case is there a good reason to demand that everybody have an aardvark or link that are due to the bank account forms or income tax returns it can't be made as a blanket statement there's no blanket statement to say that our heart is an invasion of privacy i think it will have to be examined in the context of each measure for which it has been made mandatory is it mandatory is it necessary under the constitution for people to link on article x. or y. i think that is really what the supreme court will decide ok i'm you should know hopefully by the end of the robin you've built a company based on the principle that the individual has the right to privacy over their information so i'm wondering does that put you at all and when the indian
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government we've gone into business with when we're having this discussion about the supreme court having not had rules on how privacy laws in india not having a privacy nor itself. well i think we're just looking at another country in the u.k. if you are a seventeen year old and you want to prove you're over fifteen to go to the cinema or if they are asked you to prove your age you're going to have to show them your passport if you are nineteen and you want to go into a night club you're going to have to get your driving license out or your passport your driving license if they scan it on a machine has your address it has a lot of information about you including the precious driving license number you don't need to do that with a yogurt so you have to do it once the you know for example of an odd hole or with a passport to get the benefit of more privacy you have to initially verify your identity information but the beauty after that for all of our uses is you can just
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prove you're over eighteen or you can prove that you are a name but you don't have to give them your passport and an image of your passport to do that and that's that's very difficult to do in the offline world if you haven't got a digital identity on your phone and so i think they'll be lots of people who think well i as long as i believe it's a private system and they're not tracking me then i need to basically prove to the system who i am to ben be able to use minimize data to prove who i am to other people or businesses or even the government ok. and then also if the system is not tracked and still you are going into business with a system that is being accused of being infringement on people's private rights well remember remember our system is completely voluntary you don't have to use our how you could use your passport in india obviously not everybody has a passport but if you choose to basically use your hell with consent to basically
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create a u.t. you can then use a completely private you see to do your business in india where we're back be with individuals or we've organized nations. we believe for many people they will voluntarily choose to do that because of her privacy and the lack of tracking of the information and a much more limited amount of information that they need to keep so in the u.k. supermarkets who prefer to check that you are over eighteen but they won't need to know your name ok and they won't need to know your address and look at this as it says this is something that you would be interested in using i believe you have to have a smart phone to do so would you be interested in and getting your t. and your phone first and foremost i don't have another right. i do have a passport. but yes i don't have another it sounds interesting but the point with the art is not the private sector use problem i don't think too many people have
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issues. but using you know verify the identity the issue comes and as you just pointed out when big collect this are hard you know about you know technically it is it is against the law and they're already problems and the law which prevents people from of keeping track of your hard number or using your other car as your identity because it can be done it's not supposed to be like all passwords which can be easily duplicated it's a basic you know document but it's just it's all the details are already dead so of course i think of technology like this could help in assuring that the other is more secure but the basic problem comes to again still what we just discussed and watson said how to ensure that the government makes use of this in a sensible manner nor does it use this in a manner which does not infringe too many people's rights how to ensure that does not result in like a soviet state i think that is the little question and that will not to me
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personally it is not something that technology can fully so on can improve the technology definitely going to improve the systems on the technology. but at the end of the day you will you know solid legal structure you will need a solid law with profit institutions started ensuring that your data is used properly and not misuse of the well even a lot with so many questions still being asked other countries are eyeing similar systems you've got american delegation visiting new delhi just last week to study the identity program indian diplomat say russia algeria and she's asking about how the system works into these are already has its own version of add her biometric cards are needed to obtain sim cards or to use the government health care system several countries such as ball gary and brazil have also issued biometric id cards others are skeptical britain scrapped a plan for national identity rights to seven years ago after concerns about privacy and civil rights and sanjay we've heard from the world bank chief economist that
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could be good for the world if it's widely adopted it gives everybody an identity we've got one point five billion people in the world who can't prove who they are do you agree with that. you know i'm not really sure you know indian experience cannot be replicated in different parts of india you know you have a bureaucracy which is still mired in the one nine hundred fifty s. in the sixty's and you're trying to use a bureaucracy to implement this technology there is a huge dispatch i mean if you go by newspaper reports which you do not get the kind of primacy that it deserves there are number of you know villages in the central indian state of maharashtra which have the same biometric number like the entire village has one by magic number this is preposterous and because of this season the farmers cannot get loans and then you have multiple problems like there would be so much of. an exaggeration in terms of the benefit is getting in terms of identifying
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cost beneficiaries of government programs people say i mean the government will say that they will see about nine billion dollars but there is no way to unbundle these claims and these dumb birds and the only cost benefit analysis of how it was done in two thousand and ten when there was no database so you know there is i think a bit of a problem and as somebody very wisely said the revenue model of the internet is surveillance and biometric in a certain way fits into this entire you know this concept so i'm rather short and i don't like the very idea that you know people could be reduced to a number and they do not have the freedom that they would have in terms to sidestep the prying eyes of the state so the world bank assertion notwithstanding i can be very comfortable with the idea. that there's no turning back if the supreme court ruling rules that it is mandatory for you to link you at our number to your mobile
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phone are going to have to get one otherwise you'll be cut off i guess so yes absolutely and so it's very difficult to roll these things back once they're out and of course the problem with the u.k. is that there was this massive failure. can create just as sanjay was saying where does it stop how much information does the government need to know well in there and one wonders where it's going to end you're right one wonders where it's going to end but let's not also forget this the government already collects information about us and harbor different witness speaking for the indian experience i am pretty sure that the local police station probably will have more information about you that was central government sitting in delhi so it's not as if so i wouldn't happens only because of or i've heard a lot of the government governments to do something they couldn't do before if we saw the kind of surveillance techniques that are available with the n.s.a. with the other governments in the world this is nothing but the i'm not
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a psych leaving that aside i think of essentially the other higher debate should we want of or is this tool worth what we are spending on it may seem difficult to roll back it may seem difficult but i don't see why not if again at the end of the day it's for the court of course because the market is spending to see is it necessary to have the other for accessing x. y. and z. service to morrow it is probably what if the government has this conversation internally and with the public where it should be actively who's the other and what should be was for what would be the case where it is used in the interest of the public and very does not make sense to use it i'm actively harm public interest it's difficult to meet the very broader overgeneralize as i said before it's difficult to make a broad argument either because there are very good in every situation or i want to be part of any situation and there are many are going to need if that sebi argument we will be very uncivil saying supreme court rules towards the end of base here but
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keeping a close eye on that for the moment we do have to end our discussion many thanks to all of you for joining us sanjay kapoor a lot prasanna and robin tunes. and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting a website that's al-jazeera adult called on to father discussion to go to a facebook page that's facebook dot com for slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter on hundreds at a.j. inside story from me and the whole team here life and.
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