Mozilla's headline doesn't do its stance justice

Mozilla has penned a thoughtful article on Aadhaar and a need for strong, simple policy for India around security and privacy. I wholeheartedly agree around the need for it.

However, there are 2 mistakes in this article that I believe they must acknowledge and hopefully correct. The first one comes from a place of blindness to the cause and the second is more semantic in nature.

The Indian Supreme Court has directed that Aadhaar is only legal if it’s voluntary and restricted to a limited number of schemes. Seemingly disregarding this directive, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has made verification through Aadhaar mandatory for a wide range of government services, including vital subsidies that some of India’s poorest citizens rely on to survive. Vital subsidies aren’t voluntary.

I agree that vital subsidies aren't voluntary. One of the primary reasons to require Aadhar for these subsidies is to ensure safe receipt of said subsidies. Mozilla has seemingly turned a blind eye towards the rampant corruption that exists in the distribution of vital subsidies to Indians across the nation. Aadhar is currently the only scalable and accountable mechanism that enables transparency through this massive system.

I don't believe this comes from a place of malice in Mozilla. And as I mentioned earlier, I do agree that Aadhaar and India needs a much stronger security and privacy policy along with true development in the open for Aadhar, UPI and the rest of the technologies of the India stack.

The second mistake (at least in my eye) is the misleading headline.

Aadhaar isn’t progress — it’s dystopian and dangerous

The goals of Aadhar is progress. The implementation of Aadhar along with strong security and privacy policies is critical to India's future as a nation with strong accountability and true ability to ensure that progress and growth is available across every Indian.

Let me restate: Aadhaar and UPI and the rest of the Indian stack should be developed in the open. India needs a strong, simple security and privacy policy. And I sincerely hope that Mozilla isn't caught up in its rhetoric and will hopefully be a partner to India in developing said practices not just write bombastic headlines.