India and Privacy


If you think the NSA’s record on personal privacy is bad, I think the Indian government should raise your hackles. Everywhere I turn, I see erosion of privacy.

In the papers today the Vaishno Devi board proudly touts the fact that they’ll be implementing a system to create a database all pilgrims who visit Vaishno Devi. It will include their photographs and personal data.

Additionally, police blame WhatsApp as the technology that allowed circulation of a video that they claim incited violence. I guess it’ll be monitored soon.

In addition, the government has been rolling out a Unique ID program, known as Aadhar. So, now in addition to your address proof, your id proof, and lord knows what else, you’ll need an Aadhar ID too. And the scary part is that despite the Aadhar program being labeled "optional"(voluntary), the government is proceeding with making it mandatory for various services.

Gas subsidy is now linked to Aadhar, among other services, despite the fact that the government has been notified by the courts that doing so is unconstitutional. However, such details don’t seem to bother the current government, and frankly, with the choices of political parties in India, and the general apathy, who cares?

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