Let’s ask the professors UIDAI cited in its latest report: Do you agree with UIDAI’s assessment of Aadhaar? Do you share their confidence in the project? Did UIDAI ask you in advance, before using your name for their marketing purposes?
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have been accused of making false claims about the reliability of the biometrics that its unique identification number (UID) or Aadhaar scheme relies on. The report released earlier this week by UIDAI is in response to those criticisms.
UIDAI say that “… based on the analysis, it can be stated with confidence that UIDAI enrolment system has proven to be reliable, accurate and scalable to meet the nation’s need of providing unique Aadhaar numbers to the entire population. It is now safe to conclude that the system will be able to scale to handle the entire population”. But that is mere assertion, it begs the question, they would say that, wouldn't they.
They need independent and respected biometrics experts to agree with them, if this report is to boost confidence in UIDAI’s abilities. They mention several names. The casual reader may assume that these named experts all agree with UIDAI’s conclusion that Aadhaar will work. It would be instructive to ring them up and ask them directly for their opinion.
Does Professor John Daugman, for example, agree with UIDAI when they say that “… although [the false positive identification rate of 0.057%] is expected to grow as the database size increases, it is not expected to exceed manageable values even at full enrolment of 120 crores”? It seems unlikely—Professor Daugman is the man who first pointed out that any attempt to prove uniqueness in a large population of biometrics must drown in a sea of false positives, please see
And does Professor Jim Wayman, for example, agree with UIDAI when they say that “… based on the [receiver operating characteristic] model, the UIDAI expects the accuracy of the system to remain within the same order of magnitude as reported above. Hence it can be stated that system will be able to scale to handle the entire population without significant drop in accuracy”? It seems unlikely—Professor Wayman is the lead author of a paper which concludes that biometrics is a discipline out of statistical control, the results gathered so far tell you nothing about what to expect in future, please see
If the two professors agree with UIDAI and renounce their earlier statements, well and good.
But if, on the other hand, they say that they have no reason to believe that UIDAI is right, they have not had a chance to assess the evidence that UIDAI claims to have, they do not understand why UIDAI has mentioned their names, then this schoolboy attempt to justify UIDAI’s waste of public money will fall humiliatingly flat on its face.
(David Moss spent eight years campaigning against the UK’s National ID (NID) card scheme, which was finally scrapped by the British government. Mr Moss is an MA in Philosophy from Cambridge University, MSc in Software Engineering from Kingston. With a career spanning of over 35 years, Mr Moss at present works as director at Business Consultancy Services Ltd and can be contacted at [email protected])
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Attributing the decline in food inflation mainly to seasonal factors, the central bank said the impact of good vegetable output will remain limited in the absence of effective measures to address supply-side bottlenecks
New Delhi: India’s food inflation remained in the negative zone for the fourth week in a row, at (-)1.03% for the week ended 14th January, on account of cheaper vegetables, reports PTI.
Food inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), was at (-)0.42 per cent in the previous week. It was above 17% in the corresponding week of 2011.
According to the official data released on Friday, onion prices fell steeply by 79.10%, year-on-year, for the week under review, while potato prices were down 22.46%. Prices of wheat also fell by 3.37%.
Overall, vegetables were 47.06% cheaper during the week under review, from the same period last year.
However, other food products, led by protein-based items, became more expensive on an annual basis.
Pulses prices were 12.77% higher, while milk grew dearer by 12.25%. Eggs, meat and fish prices were up 20.33% year-on-year.
Fruits also became 5.17% more expensive on an annual basis, while cereal prices were up 2.71%.
Inflation in the overall primary articles category stood at 1.89% for the week ended 14th January, as against 2.47% in the previous week. Primary articles have a weightage of over 20% in the wholesale price index.
Experts feel that the decline in food inflation, along with moderation in headline or overall inflation in December will be a major incentive for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look at the option of cutting key interest rates in the near future.
At its third quarterly monetary policy review earlier this week, the apex bank had injected Rs32,000 crore into the system by lowering the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by half-a- percentage point to 5.5% but kept the short-term lending rate unchanged.
Inflation in the non-food primary articles segment, which includes fibres and oilseeds, was recorded at 0.56% for the week ended 14th January against 1.84% in the previous week.
Fuel and power inflation stood at 14.45%, same as in the previous week.
Headline inflation, which also factors in manufactured items, fell to a two-month low of 7.47% in December.
According to experts, the moderation in both overall inflation and food inflation will allow the RBI to look at the option of reversing its tight monetary policy in near future.
In its review, RBI had however said inflation remains a concern in view of volatile crude prices in international markets and widening fiscal deficit.
Attributing the decline in food inflation mainly to seasonal factors, the central bank said the impact of good vegetable output will remain limited in the absence of effective measures to address supply-side bottlenecks.
RBI had hiked interest rates 13 times between March 2010 and October 2011 to curb demand and tame inflation.
The apex bank, which has pegged the year-end inflation at 7%, said the revision in domestic-administered prices would add to inflationary pressures.
In its blog post, titled ‘Tweets Must Flow’, the San Francisco-based micro-blogging company has said that it could “reactively withhold content from users in a specific country” if legally required to do so
Washington: Twitter has announced that it can now selectively censor tweets on a country-by-country basis, a move which may augur well for India which reportedly urged social media websites to remove offensive contents, reports PTI.
In its blog post, titled ‘Tweets Must Flow’, the San Francisco-based micro-blogging company has said that it could “reactively withhold content from users in a specific country” if legally required to do so.
The proposed move came amid reports of a legal clash between India and global Internet giants, including Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook, over pre-screening user contents and removal of offensive materials from their websites.
A Delhi court had last month asked 21 social networking websites to remove derogatory content by 6th February this year.
In its blog, citing France or Germany which ban pro-Nazi content as examples, Twitter said: “As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression.
“Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country—while keeping it available in the rest of the world.
“We haven’t yet used this ability, but if and when we are required to withhold a tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the content has been withheld.”
However, the micro-blogging service with over 100 million active users, said the removed content would be available to the rest of the world. Earlier when it used to delete a tweet, it would disappear worldwide, media reports said.
Along with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, which is currently banned in China, is said to have played a pivotal role in uprisings that swept the Middle East region, particularly in countries like Egypt and Tunisia.