Now that the lawyers have run their marathon and we wait for the top court to rule, a small personal diary note thread on #Aadhaar & me.

Huge thanks to community of people who have widened my wisdom of how society works. Fellow helpless people helping each other.
It started sometime in 2011, when I knew nothing, enrolled along with family.But our enrollment packets were lost, EID wasnt even searchable. I did write some emails to support, but yielded nothing more than, please enroll again. As the need wasn't real, did not enroll.
Parents gave up at a later date, enrolled, got UID successfully generated. I resisted, mostly because of laziness, but did not have developed trust enough to enroll. On random browsing sessions, have heard Usha Ramanathan on YouTube, but never took deep dive into issues.
Yes,I was in urban elitist,white collar software coolie & online activism was restricted to online things (Wikipedia edit wars, language technology, #66A, #SaveTheInternet, #SaveTheMap) & cries of actual scale of problem of #Aadhaar never reached in a way to make myself involved
2014, besides the middle class coercion for enrolling and linking to LPG subsidy, #Aadhaar didnt impact my world.Parents did link to get subsidy. As bachelor who doesn't cook, LPG was last of my worries. When I needed LPG in 2015, I was ready to #GiveItUp, got one without Aadhaar
2016, #Aadhaar still isnt mandatory in my world, I successfully got my interoperable identity proof -- DL in my home state. I hear about #UPI and I am fascinated by the technology through amatuer observations. I see @India_Stack but there is very little information to dig.
As I dig more, I see some concerns, at least on #UPI, wrote a blog post, which @nixxin (Thanks :) ) edited and published in @medianama You can read it here.… -- The digital highway analogy started in the op-ed by @NandanNilekani to which i wrote rebuttal.
Some talk on twitter about #Aadhaar was coming along, more linkages being proposed, concerns on digital privacy emerging (in context of Google and offline-online convergance visualized for elites through Uber).

I dig little more into @India_Stack to see what its about.
Thanks to @ajantriks for inviting to Privacy after Big Data - Workshop… that happend on DeMo weekend, organized by @cis_india and SARAI. I met and heard Usha, @AnupamSaraph @teirdes @KapoorAstha @ambersinha07 @aparatbar @Kritika12 talk on #Aadhaar #privacy
Although I made a brief presentation on digital ID, data protection, exclusion (predicted 2024, not 2019 will be data play), proposed ShadowStack (A response akin to Firefox, Ubuntu winning IE, Windows). But I was not sure enough to comment on #Aadhaar.…
Next day I was meeting @no2uid (First real world activism meeting I sat, I was uncomfortable in activisty meeting). Listened @anumayhem @tame_wildcard @prasanna_s spoke on court cases, PDS exclusions, website. More knowledge added, still not sure on UID
I was still thinking in a tech utopianistic manner. Given my FOSS upbringing, felt, may be a FOSS Digital ID would solve a lot of implementation issues. (I have since evolved my position). But nonetheless I wrote #IndiaStack must be Free & Open.…
Meanwhile, Demonetization did hit me to limited extent. I stopped buying milk from my next door guy and went to super market. Felt guilty to ask him to put just water can and not buy milk from him. But every ₹20 mattered. So @CashlessConsumr was born. #AePS was in its mandate.
While my academic curiousity to learn more about #Aadhaar and #IndiaStack increased, it didnt hit personally yet. Even in @CashlessConsumr I was largely focused on #UPI, I barely know how payment systems worked, let alone #AePS which is combo system.
Thanks to @kiranychandra ,I was invited to be #4CCon on a panel discussion on DeMo & digital infrastructure.I didnt have opinion on former back then,my views were on latter.Usha spoke tech industry is killing rule of law,@sharads defended tech blindly.I voiced common man concerns
The infamous exchange between @sharads and Ex @nipfp_org_in director Dr. Govinda Rao made me curious to study economic disruptions of technology and their conflicts in detail. #Aadhaar suddenly made more sense, than a simple authenticating ID.
#Aadhaar PAN 139AA made the first real dent. Suddenly it hit really personally. If not for the community online, would have given up and enrolled. @India_Stack complicit silence in mandatory coercion led to us stopping at legal history and how lawyers can save us from it.
While there were lot of exchanges on twitter with differing voices, it was largely civil. A bunch of anonymous handles led by @Stupidosaur were tweeting all sort of theories, if not all, some of them have indeed become true, legistimized.
Real people within tech started seeing different problems ( openwashing @anivar, @digitaldutta saw leaky systems compromising personal data without #DataP, which could eventually lead to killing nascent #opendata movement for increasing accountability, smartcard @sunil_abraham)
The Sudham project (aka trolling episode --…) bought together separate voices having very different objections / concerns on #Aadhaar across spectrum to a common point.
. @nixxin @jackerhack aptly led this mass despite different PoV (#DestroyTheAadhaar, #ReformTheAadhaar) , in a constructive retailation, one which didnt hit below the belt, but exposed #Aadhaar technology through detailed inspection. Thus Kārana was born
All along, one key thing to note was, how much the mainstream media was largely silent, except for few journalists, shouting matches, information was hard to come by MSM. There comes @databaazi @roadscholarz @HumansofAadhaar -- Getting real stories from ground.
Slowly but steadily, every move of #Aadhaar was tracked, we were waiting for courts to hear us fast. Arunmozhi wrote #AadhaarBench count-up website. #AadhaarMemes spread the word through pop culture.
Agree that major portions of MSM were involved in PR work. @shrutimenon10 wrote a piece on how large portions of #Aadhaar paranoia just started from editors desk.…
As the constitution bench was getting formed, some tuition time to learn about civics which many of us techies have forgetten. Thanks for @Memeghnad, @newslaundry and @sowmyarao_ basic structure for simple intro to constitution.
A lot of work by law and public policy folks suddenly enter the reading lists. Think tanks and tech non profits like @nipfp_org_in @Vidhi_India @cis_india @StateofAadhaar @privacyint @accessnow @_FutureFinance @CGAP and role of "Financial Inclusion" in #Aadhaar becomes known
Privacy gets contested in SC and it just drags the case further. @privacyisright eventually gets established, even while deadlines for linking come closer.A lot more activity goes into understanding technology.Collective understanding and putting together the pieces was the task.
More articles, more #Aadhaarleaks, More TV debates, countering more lies, more coercion. Its been exhausting. But mutual strength keeps us going. Personally I dont have very high hopes on SC. But I believe karma theory will save us. Active citizenship alone will save from evil.
I was slightly disappointed that all the discourse was happening only in English. I tried my 1 paise to do my bit, starting… ; @savukku helped publishing 2 pieces about #Aadhaar #identity, privacy to Tamil population.
For many of us, #Aadhaar isnt a political party fight, INC vs BJP. I havent voted for both of them / their allies anytime in my life. Its a fight against forces that want to take the power away from people covertly. (Yes, WB, Nandan, Gates, I am looking at you)
Hundreds of youtube videos, panel discussions on Aadhaar, digital identity, privacy, financial inclusion, development, growth had been watched. 1000's of articles read, tens have been written.
For live tweets of the historic case and courtroom chatters. Thanks to twitter for getting a small community together. #AadhaarStars was a @UIDAI PR hashtag hijacked to list contributions of many active voices
Sometime in between people came together to make @SpeakForMeIndia , let the parliament discuss the problems, businesses hear from consumers. 30k Emails were sent, template emails were returned by templates by business', but some MPs did speak up in parliament.

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More from @logic

Aug 31, 2018
Repeat after me: #FASTag is an asset monitoring technology for the lenders (highway traffic measurement for infrastructure assets & vehicle control -- toll block / geo-fence -- for vehicle loans) masquerading as toll collection technology providing convenience.
Repeat after me: #BBPS is an investment lead generation technology for the lenders (consumption data of utilities for infrastructure for equity investments & family consumption/scoring for household finance) masquerading as bill collection technology providing convenience.
Repeat after me: #GSTN is a trade surveillance technology masquerading as simplified(!!) tax collection technology.
Read 6 tweets
Jun 5, 2018
Another story on #PayTech from @TheKenWeb, this time on @BharatBillPay #BBPS and NPCI being a behemoth…. Time for thread again, full disclosure I haven't read @tam_arund piece since I dont subscribe.
First up some fact checking on email, tweets. Then some commentary about BBPS, then the larger idea of NPCI being the behemoth, what it means to industry, @CashlessConsumr and the whole data game.
First, commentary on the email from @r0h1n

// Because there’s just no telling when it will decide to become a competitor. //

They are in for it to super control the market, not compete. Even on BHIM in UPI, technically, NPCI is operator, the banks are the players market wise.
Read 17 tweets
May 25, 2018
A thread on #UPI PSPs who come in all shapes and sizes, Some history from 2016, some thoughts on bank led model, API gatekeeping, unbundling of #UPI, hierarchy of players, business impact.
#UPI hit the market with ~18 banks going live in July 2016. All of them released an app, had their own PSP backends, were issuers. A week later @PhonePe_ became the first non-bank PSP with an YesBank partnership operating its own PSP backend.
Days later few more apps built by startups hit. All of them with YesBank partnership, using Yesbank PSP backend. SBI and HDFC were largely holdouts to UPI, did not have choice but to launch post #DeMo
Read 23 tweets
May 4, 2018
Thread on Billgates connection to #Aadhaar. Does he know enough to comment (of course he knows a lot more, deep intentions, interests). Now that he himself has repeated the fact that, his "charity",WB are interested in it, like to fund the initiatives, lets look at larger picture
Read "Digital Poverty Stack". I will summarize these posts

Part 1…

Part 2…

and add additional context on players.
Note that @India_Stack and Level One Project are parallel initiatives in India and Africa respectively? Why only these two geographies? Why not elsewhere?

Besides the usual guinea pig theory, the other common thing is, these are geographies where "Development finance"
Read 8 tweets
Mar 15, 2018
I dont have any soft spots for @NandanNilekani, but this needs demystifying for people to see larger picture and not get personal, potshot happy and forget, but its important to understand what ROHINI is, what the healthcare agenda is, so Thread.
IIB is registered society, promoted by insurance industry as an agency to provide sector level cooperation. Regulators : Industry bodies :: RBI-TRAI-IRDA : IBA / NPCI-COAI-IIB. These industry organizations exist to shape larger policy around industry to safeguard themselves
IIB was formed in *2009* and ROHINI is health insurance market analyzing product which the insurance industry needs. That they have effectively lobbied regulator IRDA to make it mandatory is another thing, all these before *Modi care*
Read 17 tweets
Mar 3, 2018
Classic example of disasters in not differentiating aadhaar authentication, eKYC, eSign, eMandate. Everything needs only one OTP and no knows what transaction happens in backend. @India_Stack will be happy because all they care is volumes not user interest. #Consent #Fraud
A simple way of fixing this mess, is to not allow signatures by just sharing OTP, but involve some bit of user action and adding friction to make sure signatures can't be made with just OTP. User can send a SMS from registered mobile with SIGN <OTP_SENT_TO_ENTITY> to get SIGNOTP
What this would mean is, while signing is still happening through the same set of APIs, it codifies user action, which reduces frauds like these. eSign still has more issues, but this is rudimentary.
Read 17 tweets

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